Becoming a King Study Guide

Page 1


BECOMING A KING The Path to Restoring the Heart of Man Study Guide | Six Sessions

MORGAN SNYDER

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 1

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Becoming a King Study Guide © 2020 by Morgan Snyder All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—­electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—­except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by W Publishing Group, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. W Publishing Group and Thomas Nelson are registered trademarks of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc. Published in association with Yates & Yates, www.yates2.com. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.Zondervan.com. The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.® Scripture quotations marked ESV taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked MSG [or The Message] are taken from The Message. Copyright © by Eugene H. Peterson 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Scripture quotations marked TPT are taken from The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ThePassionTranslation.com. Thomas Nelson titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fundraising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-­mail SpecialMarkets@ThomasNelson.com. ISBN 978-0-310-11524-3 (softcover) ISBN 978-0-310-11525-0 (ebook) First Printing March 2020 / Printed in the United States of America

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 2

4/1/20 2:37 PM


CONTENTS Welcome

4

Introduction

6

Session Session Session Session Session Session

1: Becoming Powerful 2: Becoming a Son 3: Becoming the Man You Were Born to Be 4: Becoming a Generalist 5: The Way of Becoming 6: Becoming a King

10 36 58 82 108 174

My Invitation

200

About the Author

205

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 3

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

WELCOME

4

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 4

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One Session Two Session Three Session Four

Though it may not be clear yet, you’ve been led to a map, to a narrow path that leads to rediscovering something essential— a treasure that most of us have forgotten. Perhaps better said, something essential has been lost, stolen, assaulted, and even surrendered in each of our lives. That something is your heart, as a man. But all is not lost. God is engaged in a recovery mission, inviting you to participate in an adventure that has the possibility to uncover more life than you have ever imagined. Make no mistake, this narrow path is for the few. Take heart, for it has always been so. G. K. Chesterton suggests that every generation loses the gospel and every generation is charged with its recovery. I want to suggest that this recovery—this epic and intimate mission of the heart of God to restore all things— doesn’t begin on a global or even national scale. It begins intimately and so very personally in the heart of every man and woman. It begins with you. What you are holding in your hands is a way back to becoming wholehearted, becoming strong, and becoming everything God meant when he meant you—when he dreamed up who you could become.

Session Five Session Six

5

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 5

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

INTRODUCTION

6

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 6

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

At the heart of Reality is God’s intention to empower humans and entrust them to participate in the ongoing creativity of the universe. Power-sharing is God’s design, desire, and intention.

Session Two Session Three Session Four Session Five Session Six

But that is hardly the story at hand. What’s gone wrong? When can you entrust a man with power? We tend to think the problems in our lives are external, like the broken truck, the broken job, or the broken marriage. Yet if we dig deeper, these external problems reveal internal fissures; we are men in need of excavation and reconstruction. Jesus of Nazareth offers to meet us in the heart of our need. He promises a way forward and invites us to follow him into the kingdom of our Father. Yet so often we are unsure of the way in to this new way of life. I’ve created this study guide and companion six-session video series as a way for us to engage more deeply together in the message of Becoming a King. My desire is that you, both personally and collectively with other likehearted men, will risk believing that more restoration for your masculine heart is available. This study guide, together with the book and video series, offers a reliable map to the ancient path of becoming, becoming the kind of trustworthy king to whom God can entrust the care of his kingdom. For over a decade, courageous men just like you have been orienting their lives around becoming a king. Even as the world grows darker in some significant aspects, a relentless light grows brighter in the hearts of some men. It’s time to brighten the fire even further. I’m honored to invite you to receive and share in the treasure I too have been seeking and recovering for quite some time. There’s much more to say regarding this mission’s backstory; you’ll find that content in the Becoming a King book. I designed this study guide around reading the corresponding chapters of Becoming a King beforehand and watching the video during this experience. I’ll give you a heads up as we make our way through this study guide so that you’ll know which chapters of the book will prepare you to engage in each section of the journey. Remember, we’re in this together.

7

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 7

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Engaging This Treasure Hunt This guide can be tailored for several primary uses. If you’re an individual wanting to dig deeper, use it as a guide to mine the treasures explored in Becoming a King. It also works great in a smaller setting of men seeking personal restoration together—­perhaps as a weekly or monthly study, over a couple of pints or an evening campfire, or even in a church setting. Or it can be used as six sessions of a men’s retreat. Be creative. Walk with God. So long as you have the book, the video series, and a heart willing to risk, you’ll be armed to dig in, to dare greatly, and to join the courageous men who have gone before us.

A Few Words of Counsel as You Begin Trust the Process Reading the text of nature reminds us that the most important things in life take time. Ultimately, the treasure at the end of this journey is worth any cost that comes along the way. Being honest with yourself and others and allowing your current circumstances to access the life of your heart is where you want to begin. If you are oriented in a life-­giving direction, you can trust confidently that you will, in God’s time, find the destination you seek.

Don’t Rush If you want the abridged experience, you can binge and crank through all the content. But you’ll miss the treasures found all along the path. If you want the abundance God has for you, go slow. Slower than you think. Agree with the portion and pace God has for you in this.

Don’t Go Alone The best things in life are meant to be shared. We are relational to our core, and you will experience much more fruit if you share this journey with other like-­hearted allies. If you choose to use this as a personal study, find a buddy who will do it independently but alongside you, and plan some rally points along the way to compare field notes, celebrate discoveries, and share battle scars. Better yet, share the experience with a group of men and stack hands on choosing some intentional life together. And remember, confidentiality is essential; you must know your story is safe with the men with whom you engage in this treasure hunt.

8

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 8

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Six

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 9

Session Five

* Teddy Roosevelt speech, delivered in Paris in 1910, known to most of us as “The Man in the Arena.�

Session Four

God, I consecrate this journey to you. I bring every aspect of this experience under your care and into honest and transparent connection with you. I declare your rule and authority over my life and every man participating in this adventure. I pray that you would make known your true heart. I choose to give you permission and access to my heart. I pray that you would raise up prayer warriors on my behalf, led by the Spirit of God, to agree with the full portion you have for me as a man in this. I choose to risk engaging with curiosity, an open heart, and an honest desire to become the man you meant when you meant me. I open my soul to you and ask that you break every limit I have placed on who you can be, what you can do, and how you can do it. I agree with who you are, what you are doing, and how you are doing it. I want more of me to be given more fully over to more of you. I choose to give you a chance to speak and move and breathe your breath into me through this experience. And I am asking that you would lead me as I consent to a process and choose to respond to your invitation to risk in courage, vulnerability, and love. I want my whole heart back. I invite you to anoint this time with your presence, your power, and your favor. And I ask that you reveal where and how you are leading me to become the kind of king to whom you can gladly entrust the care of your kingdom. Amen.

Session Three

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.*

Session Two

The Digging Deeper section of this study guide is meant to be engaged over time and is far more than you could cover in a single sitting or gathering. The reflection questions and recommended resources found in the Digging Deeper sections of each session will equip you to go as deep as you want in this message. For your first pass through this study guide, I recommend saving most if not all of the Digging Deeper content for later and initially focusing on the selected Discussion Questions, which follow the Big Ideas. Once you have taken a pass through all six guided chapters and videos and read Becoming a King in its entirety, go back and explore the Digging Deeper sections in more depth. Very few men ever take a risk of excavation and discovery like this. You are already among the few. In your choosing to risk, I count you as an ally. And rest assured, when the going gets tough, hold fast to the words of Teddy Roosevelt:

Session One

Digging Deeper

9

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Session 1

BECOMING POWERFUL

10

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 10

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One Session Two Session Five

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. –Jeremiah 6:16

Session Four

A thirty-year-old man is like a densely populated city; nothing new can be built . . . without something else being torn down. – Mike Mason

Session Three

The great problem of the earth and the great aim of the masculine journey boil down to this: when can you trust a man with power? –John Eldredge

Session Six

11

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 11

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Introduction Do you remember a moment when you were entrusted with power? Think of a childhood adventure where you felt like you were handed over the keys to the kingdom. While riding bikes with my daughter yesterday, I had a visceral memory of the first time I was turned loose as a young boy to head off by myself on my bike into the neighborhood beyond our street. I remembered the power I felt in that moment years ago. Memories like this whisper to us a secret that is waiting to be recovered. I’ve spent the last two decades excavating this desire for power in my heart and in the hearts of many men. With intense curiosity I’ve sought to discover where this desire comes from and why it so often ends up leading a man sideways. As I scan the landscape of my own life and those of other men, I notice far too many stories of men being entrusted with power only to have that power bring harm to themselves and others. Is there another way? Is there a path to becoming the kind of wholehearted man who can be entrusted with power and have it turn out for good? As I spent years leaning into the wisdom of contemporary sages as well as the wisdom of sages from millennia past, a path began to take shape. In time that path revealed a process of transformation to become the kind of man to whom God can entrust his power. In session one, I invite you to risk recovering your God-­given desire to be powerful. Where has this desire surfaced in your masculine heart over the years? Where has it led you to places you never wanted to go? And what might the path look like to restoring your masculine heart and, in time, becoming the kind of man who can wield power well? What if you could have your heart fully restored, your power refueled and seated in a life worth living? Let’s dig in.

Watch Session One Video: Becoming Powerful

12

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 12

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Consecration Prayer

Session Six

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 13

Session Five

God, I consecrate this journey to you. I bring every aspect of this experience under your care and into honest and transparent connection with you. I declare your rule and authority over my life and over every man participating in this adventure. I pray that you would make known your true heart. I choose to give you permission and access to my heart. I pray that you would raise up prayer warriors on my behalf, led by the Spirit of God, to agree with the full portion you have for me as a man in this. I choose to risk engaging with curiosity, an open heart, and an honest desire to become the man you meant when you meant me. I open my soul to you and ask that you break every limit I have placed on who you can be, what you can do, and how you can do it. I agree with who you are, what you are doing, and how you are doing it. I want more of me to be given more fully over to more of you. I choose to give you a chance to speak and move and breathe your breath into me through this experience. And I am asking that you would lead me as I consent to a process and choose to respond to your invitation to risk in courage, vulnerability, and love. I want my whole heart back. I invite you to anoint this time with your presence, your power, and your favor. And I ask that you reveal where and how you are leading me to become the kind of king to whom you can gladly entrust the care of your kingdom. Amen.

Session Four

You’ll find the following prayer within each session of the study guide. I encourage you to revisit it after watching each video session, before moving to conversation. It will serve both as a powerful practice to bring everything under God’s care and direction as well as an essential opportunity to continually give God permission and access to guide us through this journey.

Session Three

God, I invite you into this space to participate in stillness with you. Here and now, I choose to recover my breath. I turn my attention and affection toward you, God, and what you have prepared for me in this time. I choose two minutes to breathe and center on you.

Session Two

One of the core beliefs behind this series is that God is the initiator and we have the role of responding and participating. In each session, I invite you to choose a two-minute pause. Whether you are watching these videos alone, in a small group setting, or at a retreat, make room for the message to soak into your soul, for the questions to rise up, and for God to shine his light. Let the silence and room to breathe pave the way for courage, and let vulnerability be the atmosphere with which you engage.

Session One

Two- Minute Pause

13

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Big Ideas Desire reveals design. Design reveals destiny.

The primary work of God is finding men to whom he can entrust his power. And the story of most men is being entrusted with power and it bringing harm to themselves and those under their care. –­Dallas Willard

The most important thing about a person is not what he does. It is who he becomes. –Dallas Willard

The masculine journey consists of a process of becoming the kind of man to whom God can gladly entrust the care of his kingdom.

14

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 14

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two

Session Three

Session Four

Session Five

Session Six

4/1/20 2:37 PM

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 15

Session One

Notes

15


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Discussion Questions 1.

Think back to your childhood. What are some of your earliest memories of feeling powerful?

2. Describe a good king. Think of an example of a particular man (past or present) who, in your mind, is a compelling model. List the specific qualities you admire in him. Also ask yourself what qualities he is missing that would add even more to what you esteem as the kind of man who can be entrusted with the care of a kingdom.

3. In the video I explain how each man is entrusted with a particular kingdom. Describe the aspects and scope of your personal kingdom as you see it.

16

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 16

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Think of the people entrusted to your care. Call to mind a few specific faces and put words to what you hope they would one day be able to say about the impact of your

Session One

4.

life on theirs. Take time to write this down.

Session Two

5.

How is your kingdom? Put words to the condition of your kingdom currently. How are

Session Five Session Six

God, to be entrusted with power is a sacred responsibility, fraught with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Thank you for leading me to this journey and assuring me that there are other like-hearted men who want to become the kind of man to whom you can gladly entrust the care of your kingdom. I consent to this process. Reveal what is next and align me with your pace and portion as we dig deeper. I consecrate my masculine soul to you. I celebrate that the most important thing about me is that I have been created as your masterpiece, from your image. I am made in your likeness. And you are inviting me to partner with you in the process of the restoration of my heart as a man. I give you permission and access once again. I want my whole heart back. I choose to trust your leadership. Give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart filled with courage to go with you, wherever you want to lead me.

Session Four

Closing Prayer

Session Three

the people doing whom you’ve been entrusted to care for in this season of your life?

17

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 17

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

DIGGING DEEPER

18

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 18

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

How has the storyline of wanting to be powerful played out in your life?

Session Two

as you stepped out into your story as a young man. Describe how this desire to be powerful has played out over the various seasons of your life.

Session Three

Think through your childhood years, into middle school, high school, and beyond,

Session Four

acting true and bringing a genuine strength, a moment when you felt deeply alive.

Session Five

Describe a moment you felt like you were at your very best, when you found yourself

Session Six

19

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 19

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

What has been the impact, on your own heart and on those around you, of the longing to be powerful?

G. K. Chesterton reminded us, “We all feel the riddle of the earth without anyone to point it out. The mystery of life is the plainest part of it. . . . Every stone or flower is a hieroglyphic of which we have lost the key; with every step of our lives we enter into the middle of a story…”* Story is the fundamental shape of our lives. And central to the mid-­chapters of any story are unresolved questions. Since it is the restoration of the masculine heart set within us that God is most after, an essential way of beginning this process is with some orienting questions. We remember what Henri Nouwen observed: “Answers before questions do harm to the soul.” What are your questions at this point in your story? Take a few moments to see what surfaces now and even notice your reaction to the question. Hold onto this for the next week and notice what questions surface in the days ahead that you aren’t able to put words to at this point.

Pausing to connect with the deep questions of your heart is paramount to this process of restoration. As Isaiah suggested thousands of years ago, one of the great tragedies of humanity is that we do not take the time and space to pause and think with our hearts. Richard Foster suggested that “the curse of our age is superficiality.” We fail to quiet ourselves long enough to hear our souls speak. We fail to become conscious of the very present questions our hearts are asking. As a heroic step of recovery, pause with me. Literally. Let’s take an additional moment of silence in this time. Pause long enough to notice your breath. Notice yourself breathing in and out. Notice your heart, as a man, before you proceed. Notice the questions that rise. Let’s pause here . . . * G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (Scott Valley, CA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015), 55.

20

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 20

4/1/20 2:37 PM


life in which you find yourself. The relationships you are navigating. Decisions you are

Session One

What are the questions surfacing in your heart? Perhaps triggered by the season of facing. Failures with which you need to contend.

Session Two

they arise.

Session Three

Take some time to linger here as your soul finds its voice, and list your questions as

Session Four

Describe the man you are today. When you look in the mirror, who and what do you see? Body, soul and spirit, heart, mind, imagination. How are the myriad facets of you Session Five

doing?

Session Six

21

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 21

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

In chapter one of Becoming a King, I introduce the concept of the iceberg as a way to begin unearthing the motives deep below our external behavior. Remember, as Dallas Willard suggests, “Actions reveal beliefs one hundred percent of the time.” Our credal statements or our religious ideologies sometimes serve to disconnect us from what is really going on within us. In contrast to abstract ideologies, God is always present with us where we really are, not where we think we should be. Make a list of specific habitual behaviors you have observed in yourself in the past twenty-­four hours. Here are some examples: • Checking your phone within moments of waking up to see what emails and texts were waiting for you • Using food, exercise, or alcohol as medicine in an attempt to change how you feel in the current moment • Biting your nails • Needing to drive in the fast lane • Finding yourself rushing, trying to get more accomplished than is realistic • Needing to constantly be heard or have the last word in a conversation

Pause here for a few minutes and take an inventory. Don’t overthink it. Nothing is too big or too small to note. Simply observe. Now write a list of observable behaviors in the chart to the right.

22

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 22

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Motives

Core Belief

Session One

Observable Habit

Session Two Session Three Session Four Session Five Session Six

Next to each habit you wrote on your list, try to put words to the honest motives at play directly beneath the behavior you manifested. Next to each motive, try to access a single core belief that is being expressed through the related motive and the external behavior. Don’t get hung up on what you ought to believe; let’s get to the heart of things. Take the time. Be honest with yourself. I assure you that in time it will lead to life. Now go back and read all ten behaviors, motives, and core beliefs. Pause and consider what this says about how you are doing, right now, on the inside.

23

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 23

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

LET’S GO EVEN DEEPER.

24

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 24

4/1/20 2:37 PM


what you do—external activities, roles, responsibilities, etc.

Session One

Describe your life in simple terms, above the waterline. This is the part people see. It’s

Session Two

motives. How are you feeling? What surfaces within you as you do the things above the waterline? What are the motives at play—the why—behind what you do?

Session Three

Describe your life in simple terms, below the waterline. This is where we get to

Session Four Session Five

Deeper still are the core beliefs at work. Again, this isn’t your stated belief system, but rather your very pragmatic operational beliefs. I confess, by way of example, that I’m a very skilled bargain hunter when it comes to big purchases. From a vehicle to a vacation, I can typically find a great value. Part of that is because I’m a strategist and can maximize an opportunity. But when I’m honest, another part that is often at play is a feeling of financial scarcity and terror that rises up from a young, orphaned place in my heart that has yet to be healed and initiated into manhood.

Session Six

25

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 25

4/1/20 2:37 PM


energies—­the why behind what you do externally? And what are the core beliefs associated with these motives?

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

So take a swing. Below the waterline, what are your primary motives, fears, and

Step back for a moment. Well done. That takes courage. Now, as we will do often in this process, pause and review what you’ve written. What is your reaction? What does your heart do with this? How is it informing you here and now?

Let’s keep going as we orient ourselves with this big idea from Dallas Willard: “The primary work of God is finding men to whom he can entrust his power. And the story of most men is being entrusted with power and bringing harm to themselves and those under their care.” Risk being honest. Where do you see this idea currently playing out in the world at large? How about in your world?

26

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 26

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

What would you say is working really well in your life?

Session Two

What is not working in your life? Session Three Session Five

Where specifically do you feel worn out?

Session Four

What feels unresolved and unfinished within you as a man?

Session Six

27

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 27

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Where do you feel alone or isolated?

Where and in what ways do you feel misunderstood?

What are the biggest fears at play in your life right now?

28

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 28

4/1/20 2:37 PM


you are?

Session One

What did you expect to be that you are not? What did you expect to not be that

Session Two

you do?

Session Three

What did you expect to have that you do not? What did you expect to not have that

Session Four

Describe an early experience where you remember feeling, for perhaps the first time, like your life choices had direct impact on other people, that your choices had highstakes consequences. Session Five Session Six

29

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 29

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

What was your internal reaction at the time?

What is your reaction now?

You are brave to consider these questions. It is a good practice to exercise your courage. Remember C. S. Lewis said that courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point. And Maya Angelou reminds us, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.” Courage in this journey will take us a long way and bear much fruit.

30

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 30

4/1/20 2:37 PM


profound failure financially, emotionally, relationally, morally, or beyond.

Session Two

Make a list of men you have experienced as fallen kings, men who experienced

Session One

Now, as we move from inward to beyond our own life, let’s consider together the lives of other men. Leaders we have encountered in our politics, places of work, schools, or sports teams. Men in some position of influence who have not withstood the tests and trials. Fallen kings and fallen kingdoms.

Session Three

What was entrusted to their care?

Session Four Session Five

As best as you can tell, where do you sense that things went sideways?

Session Six

31

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 31

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Think about the men in authority over you in your various roles and responsibilities. What is it like to live under their leadership? What are the blessings? What are the challenges? Describe their personal blind spots and how those affect the way they offer leadership.

In Becoming a King, I suggest that to be made in the image of God is to be designed to become a king. In Waking the Dead, John Eldredge explains that we were meant to exercise a fierce mastery over our domain. “Like a foreman runs a ranch or like a skipper runs his ship. Better still, like a king rules a kingdom, God appoints us as the governors of his domain. We were created to be the kings and queens of the earth (small k, small q).�** We were all meant to rule over the realm in which we have say. Beginning with our own bodies, minds, and souls and expanding to the geography, relationships, and assignments entrusted to our care. Big or small, we all have a kingdom. How is your kingdom? Take some time to sincerely describe the state of the current kingdom entrusted to your care in as much detail as possible.

** John Eldredge, Waking the Dead (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2016), 174.

32

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 32

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two

How are the hearts of those entrusted to your care?

Session One

How is the condition of your kingdom?

Session Three

Call to mind a place in your kingdom—a relationship or a role—that is not going well. Describe the situation. Session Four Session Five

What does it feel like to put words to that?

Session Six

33

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 33

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

In our day and age, convenience often takes center stage. Many things we want seem to come quick and easy. Yet this thinking does injustice to the masculine soul and the process required for restoration. The best things in life aren’t quick, cheap, or easy. Like a fine single-­ malt scotch, anything precious takes time, hard work, great care, and a participation with something greater than ourselves. Make no mistake: the treasure at the end of this quest is worth every bit of energy invested. But it will take time, perhaps much more than you want or are willing to commit right now. A decade of transformation is a lot to ask of a man. Yet as I have spent over two decades sitting in the presence and counsel of older men much farther down the narrow road, what I consistently hear is that a decade of doing the work to become wholehearted is a small investment compared to the vibrant life that will come in its wake. For now, I simply want to celebrate how far we have come. The trail goes as far and deep as you want to go. And surely it goes farther beyond my view. Again, I invite you to give yourself to this. You’ve come this far. You have a sense of both the quest’s scope and the prize at the end. Don’t shrink back. It’s worth it. Father, Jeremiah was one of your wild-­eyed prophets entrusted with your message at a time in history when his civilization had, in very significant and heart-­wrenching ways, lost its way. He cried out to those willing to listen, Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. –­Jeremiah 6:16

34

God, I confess I want more life. I want a life that is truly life. I want to know the good way. I want to walk a path that promises rest for my soul and an abundance of love, presence, and strength to offer those around me. I want to receive the restoration of my masculine soul. I want to risk trusting that my desire to be powerful is from you. It is the image of God set within me, as surely as the oak tree is set in the heart of the acorn. God, I ask that you would use this quest to restore my heart as a man. I want to become the kind of man to whom you, the Living God, can entrust the care of your kingdom. I give you permission to go every place you want to go in my life and my story for this quest. I give you access to every part of me. I choose to risk agreeing with who you are, what you are doing, and how you are doing it, beyond the ways I have come to know you up to this point. I give more of me to belong to more of you. I will take this risk, trusting that you will come and restore the man you meant when you meant me.

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 34

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

Further Excavation (For a complete list of recommendations and links, go to BecomeGoodSoil.com/FurtherExcavation.)

Session Five

BecomeGoodSoil.com Podcasts: 040—Intensive Series (Episode 1 of 8)

Session Four

BecomeGoodSoil.com Blogs: “A Powerful Life” “Breaking the Limits Placed on God in Our Lives” “The Decade of 10,000 Hours” “Fallen Kings, Fallen Kingdoms” “Propped Up Kingdoms” “What Did You Believe When You Woke Up This Morning?”

Session Three

Film/Video: Bruce Almighty Chernobyl City Slickers Mr. Holland's Opus The Lion King The Mask of Zorro The Men Who Built America

Session Two

Books: David Brooks, The Road to Character Richard Rohr, Adam’s Return Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy

Session Six

35

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 35

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Session 2

BECOMING A SON

36

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 36

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One Session Five

How have we learned the Father? It would be better for us to know nothing about him than to have learned him wrong. – George MacDonald

Session Four

So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. . . .This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike, “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. – Romans 8:12-16, The Message

Session Three

So that we would know for sure we are his true children, God released the Spirit of Sonship into our hearts. . . . And because we’re his, we can access everything our Father has. – Galatians 4:6–7, TPT

Session Two

Since we are the sons of God, we must become the sons of God. – George MacDonald

Session Six

37

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 37

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Introduction Whatever else we encounter when we engage the life of Jesus, we encounter a man who is living fully as a Son. Sonship is the foundation of Jesus’ life and it is intended to be the foundation of ours. Because of its foundational place, our identity as the beloved son is often the thread in our story where we endured the greatest harm and greatest loss. Simultaneously, experiencing God’s love for us as his beloved sons is a frontier of the greatest possibility. As we experience our secure place in our Father’s heart, we will be able to bring our strength—­rather than our questions—­to the world. Let’s risk recovering this lost treasure of sonship along the ancient path of becoming a king.

Watch Session Two: Becoming A Son

38

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 38

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

Two- Minute Pause God, I invite you into this space to participate in stillness with you. Here and now, I choose to recover my breath. I turn my attention and affection toward you, God, and what you have prepared for me in this time. I choose two minutes to breathe and center on you.

Session Three Session Four Session Five

God, I consecrate this journey to you. I bring every aspect of this experience under your care and into honest and transparent connection with you. I declare your rule and authority over my life and over every man participating in this adventure. I pray that you would make known your true heart. I choose to give you permission and access to my heart. I pray that you would raise up prayer warriors on my behalf, led by the Spirit of God, to agree with the full portion you have for me as a man in this. I choose to risk engaging with curiosity, an open heart, and an honest desire to become the man you meant when you meant me. I open my soul to you and ask that you break every limit I have placed on who you can be, what you can do, and how you can do it. I agree with who you are, what you are doing, and how you are doing it. I want more of me to be given more fully over to more of you. I choose to give you a chance to speak and move and breathe your breath into me through this experience. And I am asking that you would lead me as I consent to a process and choose to respond to your invitation to risk in courage, vulnerability, and love. I want my whole heart back. I invite you to anoint this time with your presence, your power, and your favor. And I ask that you reveal where and how you are leading me to become the kind of king to whom you can gladly entrust the care of your kingdom. Amen.

Session Two

Consecration Prayer

Session Six

39

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 39

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Big Ideas “The hardest, gladdest thing in the world is to cry Father! from a full heart. . . . The refusal to look up to God as our Father is the one central wrong in the whole human affair; the inability, the one central misery.” –­George MacDonald

Security in our identity as the beloved son of a Good Father is the core of masculine strength.

Our identity as sons has been assaulted in terrible and personal ways. Recovering our place of sonship is the foundation of becoming a trustworthy king.

40

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 40

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two Session Three

Session Four

Session Five

Session Six

4/1/20 2:37 PM

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 41

Session One

Notes

41


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Discussion Questions 1.

George MacDonald suggests, “The hardest, gladdest thing in the world is to cry Father! from a full heart. . . . The refusal to look up to God as our Father is the one central wrong in the whole human affair; the inability, the one central misery.” Unpack this. How could crying out to God as Father be both the hardest and gladdest thing? What are the risks and what are the rewards of turning to God as Father?

2. How have you learned “father”? Take an honest inventory. Think of the male figures in your life growing up. The good and the bad, including your father and/or stepfather, your coaches, teachers, pastors, men held out as role models in media, perhaps fathers of your friends. Call to mind and make a list of the men who surrounded you. Without editing or filtering, what words would you use to describe the traits you found in those men?

3. How has God raised the condition of fatherlessness in your heart? Notice “what is not working” in your life as a signpost to the feeling of fatherlessness. What have you done with this part of your story?

42

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 42

4/1/20 2:37 PM


What if it wasn’t fundamentally up to you to make life work? If you knew that below and behind every challenge there was Someone stronger whose primary mission

Session One

4.

was to stand by you at the ready to offer strength, power, protection, provision, affection, and leadership—all from a place of intimate connection and genuine care—how would that change the way you are living today? Session Two

5.

Pause for a few moments and think back over your story from the last decade or at the time you may not have had the capacity to receive or respond as a son?

Session Six

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 43

Session Five

Jesus, by your power and authority I break the agreements I have made with the lies in my story that are set against the truth of who you are. I break agreement with the lie that I am an orphan, that I deserve to be alone, that I am too weak of a man to be desired as a son, that I am a disappointment of a son to my Father in heaven. [Pause and observe what other lies come to your mind that you want to renounce.] And in the place of these lies, I agree with the truth of who you truly are and who you long to be in my life. I receive afresh a spirit of sonship. I crucify the self-sufficient life, and I crucify independence. I choose instead to receive the resurrection life of Jesus Christ and union with you. I choose to become what I already am, your beloved son. I choose to receive you as my True Father. I unite my heart with your heart and receive the full portion of my inheritance as your son. In the place of fear, I receive an increase of faith. In the place of scarcity, I receive your abundance. In the place of self-sufficiency, I receive the strength of total dependency upon your Life rising up within me. I choose to be infused with the same love you offer your son, Jesus Christ. I am your son. You are my Father. I receive you as my Father and ask that you would father me today and every day going forward. Amen.

Session Four

Closing Prayer

Session Three

so. What are several examples of ways that God was working to father you, even if

43

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

DIGGING DEEPER

44

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 44

4/1/20 2:37 PM


I feel fat, weak, and behind in my health and fi tness

I am only a real man if I am in excellent physical shape

Elementary gym teacher / baseball coach

Session Four

What Man in My Life Contributed to This Message?

Session Three

What Core Message Is Below This?

Session Two

What’s Not Working?

Session One

In order to excavate how we have learned father in our soul, we must increase in awareness and take stock of our response to this question: “What’s not working?” This often leads to a treasure trail of symptoms that, when deeply excavated, will expose the condition of fatherlessness that exists in the depths of our core beliefs. No doubt woven through many men’s stories are positive pieces of healthy and true fathering. Yet in order to restore the full portion of what God intended for us as his sons, we have to be both courageous and honest to take full inventory of what has been lost, stolen, and surrendered in this category of “father.” Remember, as I unpack more deeply in the book, the primary place we establish our core beliefs about God as our father is how our earthly Father responded to us when we did something wrong. For this exercise, start with your observations regarding “what’s not working” in your life. Put words to the message that has seated in your soul below the specific response to something not working. Next, go deeper still, identifying how this particular message was delivered to you or enforced in your life by a particular man in your story. Take an inventory of your story and what comes to mind.

Session Five Session Six

45

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 45

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Where and when, if ever, did fatherlessness enter your story?

What experiences in your life have surfaced the feeling of fatherlessness?

One close friend confessed, “I feel behind just about everywhere. I feel behind in my marriage, behind in my finances. I even feel behind in my landscaping!� It was a courageous confession of a sentiment that whispers and even taunts the hearts of men. How about you? Where do you feel behind?

46

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 46

4/1/20 2:37 PM


describe your level of daily intimacy and friendship with God as Father and your

Session One

Consider your relationship with your heavenly Father as it is today. How would you reliance on him and his leadership?

Session Two

Father, what would you like to say to me? How do you see me right now?

Session Three

What is the Father wanting to say to you today as his son? Pause right now to ask.

Session Four

How regularly and to what degree do you anticipate your Father’s goodness coming to you? In other words, when something goes sideways, what is your knee-jerk Session Five

reaction, emotionally and internally?

Session Six

47

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 47

4/1/20 2:37 PM


leave your mouth. What do they tell you about the degree to which you are feeling unfathered?

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

Pay attention to the thoughts that run through your head and the sentences that

How often do you have a profound, confident, and even overwhelming sense of God’s goodness, provision, and abundance coming for you just around the corner?

Think of a moment in your life when you experienced deep and true affection. How regularly and to what degree do you experience that kind of affection toward you now, in a way that you would directly attribute to the Father-­heart of God pursuing you?

48

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 48

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Becoming a King.

Session One

Try to describe how Jesus experienced the Father as shared in chapter two of

Session Two

list of attributes you would hope would be associated with the best version of father you can imagine.

Session Three

Describe what you believe to be God’s intention in being a Father to you. Start with a

Session Four

Contrast this to how you live day to day. Describe the way you currently believe God to be as a Father based on the choices you make and the details of your actions. success or failure in your work to be the most powerful variable in how you view yourself as a man. Perhaps it’s how you feel about your sexuality and a struggle to bring integrity and intimacy in relationship. Describe the disparity between your

Session Five

Perhaps it’s a fierce commitment to refuse help from anyone. Perhaps it’s allowing

experience of life and the description you wrote of God as an ideal Father.

Session Six

49

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 49

4/1/20 2:37 PM


bring a deeper revelation of his true heart to your deepest need, fear, and shame? Let’s start with this simple onramp: what are you shouldering in your life right now? Make a list of every person and everything you currently feel like you need to carry.

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

Let’s go deeper still. What if God as Father is, even in this very moment, wanting to

Once you have thoroughly completed that list, pause for sixty seconds. Take it in. Father, what are you wanting to say to me about this list, both generally and specifically?

Before we move on, it would be both courageous and cunning to make an honest effort to forgive the wrongdoing of specific men who have caused harm in our lives and receive forgiveness for what we have done to ourselves and to others in response to how we were failed. Forgiveness is one of the greatest weapons for unleashing God’s power and removing the shackles the adversary intends to use to keep our masculine hearts pinned down.

50

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 50

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

I Suffered or Was Harmed by This Man

Session Two Session Three Session Five Session Six

God, as we forgive, our vision can be cleared to see your heart more accurately. Holy Spirit, reveal to me ways the Father has been actively trying to father me in the last decade. Show me the people and events through whom/which the Father has brought his initiation, provision, and love. Help me to list their names and make specific observations about the ways this has come to me and what I have done with it.

Session Four

Forgiveness is in no way minimizing or dismissing the ways we have been failed or harmed. Instead, we honor our stories by courageously weighing the full impact of the harm. Then, in extending forgiveness, we relinquish the power of these failures, violations, and trespasses to continue to rule over us. And in place of these violations, we can receive healing, restoration, and strengthening. Our consent to release every man who has harmed us opens the way for God’s Father-heart to reach the deepest places of our masculine heart. Our woundedness, in conjunction with the warfare set against us, effectively blinds us to how God’s Fathering heart has provided for us in the past and is providing even now.

51

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 51

4/1/20 2:37 PM


sought-­after, sons of God the Father. If, starting today, you believed you were a son and chose to respond to the Father’s pursuit and truly become a son, what would change?

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

Brothers, we must choose to risk believing more deeply that we are the chosen,

[Important note: Friends, for some of you, this deep work may surface not only places where you lacked fathering, but also places where you lacked mothering. Sonship is rooted in receiving both the fathering and the mothering we so deeply need from God. Fathering is intended to heal the deep need for validation. And it is only through this doorway that we can then explore receiving mothering and healing the deep need for self-­worth. It will all come, in time. And rest assured, I provide more resources in Further Excavation below. However, for now, I invite you to stay in this and receive the full portion God has for you in receiving God as Father.]

We’ll finish this together. In the remarkable relationship between a determined athlete named Derek Redmond and his father, Jim, we have a modern-­day parable of the eternal reality of sonship. From the mid-1980s to the early ’90s, Derek Redmond was one of the fastest runners in the world. In 1985, at the age of nineteen, he smashed the British national record in the four-­hundred-­meter race. Equally remarkable to Derek’s track-­a nd-­field story is his relationship with his father. Jim not only trained and coached his son, he was also his closest friend. Derek’s greatest dream was to win an Olympic medal—­any medal—­but repeated injuries encumbered his quest. Despite tremendous adversity, Derek was undaunted in his pursuit. In 1992, he achieved the honor of representing Britain in the Olympics in Barcelona. Given his age and the extent of his injuries, this would be his last chance to realize the elusive dream of an Olympic medal.

52

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 52

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Three Session Four Session Five Session Six

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 53

Session Two

* Rick Weinsberg, “94: Derek and Dad Finish Olympic 400 Together.” ESPN.com. http://www.espn.com/espn /espn25/story?page=moments/94 (retrieved May 29, 2018).

Session One

Advancing toward the finals, Derek’s body was holding up well enough and his great heart was carrying him forward; there was just four hundred more meters between him and achieving his dream. Picture him in your mind’s eye poised at the starting blocks in front of 65,000 fans, awaiting the report of the starter’s gun. His father, Jim, is positioned at the very top of the stadium for the best view of his son and this final race. The starter’s gun fires and Derek quickly seizes the lead. He rounds the first bend and heads down the backstretch. Given his speed and the size of his lead, it looks like he will be a shoo-in for the gold. Suddenly, Derek hears a pop in his right hamstring. His body instantly recoils, and—in the words of the ESPN coverage of the race—it looks as if he has been shot. Derek collapses in a heap on the track, clutching his torn right hamstring. In a moment, all hopes of any Olympic medal evaporate. A medical personnel unit quickly makes its way to an injured Redmond. And then, we have this: At the same time, Derek’s father, Jim, seeing his son in trouble, races down from the top row of the stands, sidestepping people, bumping into others. He has no credentials to be on the track, but all he thinks about is getting to his son, to help him up. “I wasn’t going to be stopped by anyone,” he later tells the media. As his father rushes toward the track, Derek begins to rise. All the other runners have long since completed the race, but he is determined to finish. With his great heart lifting his broken body to his feet, Derek begins hobbling down the back stretch. The crowd that had been silent begins to rise as well, until the crowd is on its feet—tears and cheers fill the stadium as all hearts rally behind this one man. Derek’s father finally reaches the brink of the stadium floor. He hurdles over the barricade and runs to the aid of his son. Security guards immediately respond in force, endeavoring to overtake him and block his path, but Jim won’t be stopped. “That’s my son out there, and I’m going to help him.” The intimacy of what follows can barely be captured in words. Derek’s father reaches him on the final turn toward the finish line. Jim wraps his arms around his son’s waist. Derek turns to his dad, sobbing. Jim whispers in the tender and strong love of a father, “I’m here, son. We’ll finish this together.” After the race, reporters clamor for an interview with Derek and Jim. With tear-filled eyes, Jim shares his heart for his son: “I’m prouder of him than I would have been if he had won the gold medal. It took a lot of guts for him to do what he did.”*

53

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Pause and let the significance of this story sink into yours. This is a picture of your Father and his heart for you. Your Father who will stop at nothing to meet you in your ache and need. He will disregard all religious protocol and every obstacle in your story that contradicts his love in order to find you, to come alongside you, and to walk with you as together you finish the ancient path that leads to life.

ASSIG NME NT: Access a link to this story of Derek Redmond’s final Olympic race at BecomeGoodSoil.com/Redmond. Watch the video to experience the pursuit of Derek Redmond’s father as a doorway to receive the fathering heart of God acting with the same loving strength on your behalf. Pause after watching and take a few minutes of stillness to receive the Father’s invitation to finish this together. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When the son is ready, the Father will appear. The Scriptures offer an onramp to life as it was meant to be. “I will be a Father to you and you will be my son.”* He is initiating this invitation to sonship, simply hoping you will respond. * 2 Corinthians 6:18.

What if your Father is saying, “Son, are you ready to become who you were born to be? We can finish this together.” What would it look like right here in your present circumstances to make a greater shift to becoming a son and to receiving God as Father?

54

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 54

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Four

I break agreements with believing that life is up to me. I break the agreement that I am on my own. I break the agreement that I have to come through for people so that I can be loved. I break the agreement that it is too late. I break the agreement that I’ ll never be free from addiction. I break the agreement that I will never be free from fear.

Session Three

[Take some time to pray into these agreements as they surface, agreements about being an orphan or a slave.]

Session Two

Father, I am aware that I have learned you wrong in many ways. I have been unable to receive you as you truly are and as you long to be in my life. I break the agreements I have made with lies about what you are like.

Session One

In Becoming a King, I share one of the most transformational moments of my life when, in the midst of a terrible crisis, I chose to risk becoming a son and opening my heart to receive God as Father for the very first time. I made a specific commitment to pray every day for 365 days, “God, I am your son and you are my Father. I invite you to father me today.” While it was over a decade ago, I have yet to miss a day asking God to father me. I want to invite you to take this bold and risky step down the ancient path of becoming. To pray, right here and now, risking to receive God as your True Father. Let this prayer be an actionable way for you to receive love, provision, affection, and care more deeply than you ever have.

These are examples. Let your heart speak. What are the agreements that need to be broken in your life? Pause, name them here, and break agreement with them through the authority of Jesus Christ. Session Five Session Six

55

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 55

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Since we are the sons of God, we must indeed become the sons of God. Father, since we are the sons of God, I choose to risk believing you are opening a path for us to become the sons of God. I confess I have needs and questions, and I want to risk believing that you have answers and even more, a home for my masculine heart. So many parts of me don’t yet know how to live as a son and don’t yet know how to respond to and receive a father. I choose to venture into the unfamiliar and I’m asking you to give me the grace for more of my heart as a son to come home to more of you as my Father. I confess I’ve taken hits in the seat of “ father” in my story and in my soul. There has been a war against my soul and against the seat of sonship in my heart. God, I choose to forgive, and through granting forgiveness, release those who have failed me through omission, withholding, misunderstanding, violence, and abuse. [Allow your heart to come up; be honest with the loss. Forgiveness is a powerful force; it’s the power of heaven to release the sentence and the claims against us, to free our hearts to know God and continue on the journey. Be specific in praying through who and what need to be forgiven in the seat of father in your story.] I choose to forgive, not to minimize but to forgive and entrust these men and these pieces of my story to you. Every one of those men needed a father, and has a story, much of which I do not know; but I release them to you, God. I break the agreements I have made with every lie in this place in my masculine soul. I break the agreement that I’m on my own. I break the agreement that it’s all up to me. I break the agreement that it’s too late, or that you are not enough for me, God. I break the agreement that I’m not enough. I break the agreement that the chasm between me and you, much of which I’ve contributed to, is beyond repair. I break the agreement that I will never be understood, that I’m alone. I break every agreement that is not true to who you are and who you want to be in my life, and in those places I agree to learn you as you truly are. I ask that I would unlearn the ways I’ve learned you at the hands of evil and brokenness. And I ask, God, that you would teach me to know you as you are; that I would be your son and you would be my Father; that you would restore the gladness that is available—­modeled in Jesus’ life and made available through this all-­surpassing power through his death and resurrection. I choose to risk opening my heart to you. I claim this promise: I can know for sure that I have been adopted as God’s very own son, because he has sent his Spirit to me, who empowers me to cry out in need of a father. Father, I confess I do need you. And I celebrate the promise, that this privilege of intimate conversation with you, God, makes it plain that I am not an orphan and I am not a slave. I am a child of God. And even more than being a son, I am an heir, and through Christ I am given complete access to your inheritance! (my paraphrasing from Galatians 4:5–7)

56

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 56

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two Session Three

Further Excavation

Session One

Therefore, I put off the self life. I choose to reject self-sufficiency, self-determination. In their place I am asking for strength through dependency. I ask that you would replace fear and shame with confidence in my full rights and privileges as your son. I am asking for restored relationship with you. Father, I ask for increasing trueness and authentic relationship with myself; with you, Father; and with others. I ask that you would unite my heart with your heart, that we would be one, Father, as you are one with Jesus; that I would see what you’re doing, and through your power and strength I would live as you live and have the joy that you have. Father, I pray that you would give me the capacity to see myself as you see me. Lead me in a fresh and invigorating season of sonship. I ask that, in particular and unique ways, you would reveal the path of increasing capacity to become the son I was intended to be. And give me the eyes to see the ways you have been fathering me, the pieces that have come to me over the years, some of which I’ve missed. Let me see the treasures. Show me the way. I am your son. You are my Father, and I ask that you would father me today.

(For a complete list of recommendations and links, go to BecomeGoodSoil.com/FurtherExcavation.)

BecomeGoodSoil.com Podcasts: 013—Quick

Session Six

BecomeGoodSoil.com Blogs: “The Decade of Sonship” “How Have You Learned the Father?” “Quick”

Session Five

Film/Video: The Encounter Collection https://www.danielchesnut.com/Encounter-Collection The Important Places https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSE28DSsgz0 WildAtHeartBASIC.com, Session 10, “Sonship”

Session Four

Books: Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child Robert Ruark, The Old Man and the Boy

57

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 57

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Session 3

BECOMING THE MAN YOU WERE BORN TO BE

58

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 58

4/1/20 2:37 PM


It is the image of God reflected in you that so enrages hell; it is this at which the demons hurl their mightiest weapons. –William Gurnall

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 59

Session Six

We were built to count, as water is made to run downhill. We are placed in a specific context to count in ways no one else does. That is our destiny. – Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy

Session Five

The giving of the white stone with the new name is the communication of what God thinks about the man to the man. . . . The true name is one which expresses the character, the nature, the meaning of the person who bears it. It is the man’s own symbol— his soul’s picture, in a word—the sign which belongs to him and to no one else. Who can give a man this, his own name? God alone. – George MacDonald, An Anthology

Session Four

What can be more a man’s own than this new name which even in eternity remains a secret between God and him? And what shall we take this secrecy to mean? Surely, that each of the redeemed shall forever know and praise some one aspect of the Divine beauty better than any other creature can. – C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Session Three

Let him call me what he will. The name shall be precious as my life. I seek no more. – George MacDonald in Unspoken Sermons

Session Two

We are all under the same mental calamity; we have all forgotten our names. We have all forgotten what we really are. – G. K. Chesterton

Session One

There are many people who think they want to be matadors, only to find themselves in the ring with two thousand pounds of bull bearing down on them, and then discover that what they really wanted was to wear tight pants and hear the crowd roar. –Terry Pearce

59

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Introduction After the fall of humanity, Adam confesses, “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Genesis 3:10). Adam’s story is every man’s story. Much of who we have become is who we are not. We are haunted by fear of failure and exposure. In response to an often unnamed dread, we form caricatures to help us deny our vulnerability and survive through self-­sufficiency. Yet the self-­protective men we have become are not the truest us. The truest reality of the masculine soul is that we are inheritors of original goodness, magnificently made in the image of God. The ancient path of becoming a king invites us to an ever-­deepening awareness of the self-­protective man, so that what is fear-­based in us can be put to death. It is only in the process of putting to death our false self that we can become the men we were made to be. Who am I becoming? is one of the central questions we must ask in order to get to the heart of the matter. What if the details of our image-­bearing have been forged as a unique masterpiece? What if we reflect aspects of God’s heart that no one else exactly reflects, a destiny to offer a unique strength to our community and beyond? What a treasure this would be, indeed. In Revelation, John describes a vision of a white stone with a new name written upon it, a true name from God, a name that expresses the totality of who each human is, before and beyond this age of history. If we are to ever become who we were meant to be, we must become our true name. Recovering our Name delivers us from the agony of an unvalidated soul and releases within us a true and genuine strength to bring to the world. Jesus promised that from the death of the false man emerges a greater life, an indestructible life, a life of ever-­deepening union with God. A life worth living. A life of becoming a king by becoming our true name.

Watch Session Three Video: Becoming the Man You Were Born to Be

60

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 60

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

Two- Minute Pause God, I invite you into this space to participate in stillness with you. Here and now, I choose to recover my breath. I turn my attention and affection toward you, God, and what you have prepared for me in this time. I choose two minutes to breathe and center on you.

Session Three Session Four Session Five

God, I consecrate this journey to you. I bring every aspect of this experience under your care and into honest and transparent connection with you. I declare your rule and authority over my life and over every man participating in this adventure. I pray that you would make known your true heart. I choose to give you permission and access to my heart. I pray that you would raise up prayer warriors on my behalf, led by the Spirit of God, to agree with the full portion you have for me as a man in this. I choose to risk engaging with curiosity, an open heart, and an honest desire to become the man you meant when you meant me. I open my soul to you and ask that you break every limit I have placed on who you can be, what you can do, and how you can do it. I agree with who you are, what you are doing, and how you are doing it. I want more of me to be given more fully over to more of you. I choose to give you a chance to speak and move and breathe your breath into me through this experience. And I am asking that you would lead me as I consent to a process and choose to respond to your invitation to risk in courage, vulnerability, and love. I want my whole heart back. I invite you to anoint this time with your presence, your power, and your favor. And I ask that you reveal where and how you are leading me to become the kind of king to whom you can gladly entrust the care of your kingdom. Amen.

Session Two

Consecration Prayer

Session Six

61

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 61

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Big Ideas Driven by the fear of being exposed as less than we think we should be, we manufacture a false self to avoid shame and secure some sense of power and validation.

This false self, commonly known as “the poser,” is an elaborate fig leaf, self-­ constructed, which allows us to arrange for a life apart from needing God.

Through opening ourselves to being fully known, fully seen, and fully loved by God, we can dismantle the poser and become our true name, recovering both wholeheartedness and a life rooted and empowered through ever-­growing union with God himself. Becoming our True Name is the next step in recovering our strength and finding deep and lasting joy.

62

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 62

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two

Session Three Session Four

Session Five

Session Six

4/1/20 2:37 PM

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 63

Session One

Notes

63


1.

Describe your false self, or yourself as “the poser.” How and where do you hide?

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

Discussion Questions

2. What do you fear the people closest to you would say if they were asked to describe you?

3. Where are you bringing your question “Am I a real man?” to be answered by the people and roles you have within your kingdom?

64

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 64

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Observe your motives and how you are currently engaging with your family, in your work, and beyond. Where are you living for identity and where are you living from it?

Session One

4.

Session Two

Describe your true self. Who is the man you are meant to be but are not yet? What is he like?

Session Five Session Six

Jesus, the apostle Paul declares in Ephesians that through your death and resurrection there is incomparably great power at work in our land. It is a mighty strength that was released when you conquered death for our sake. Scripture assures us that you, God, are seated far and above every ruler and authority of this world. You are seated above every power and dominion of this world. And you hold the power to name us, above every name or title that can be given, not only in this world but in the world to come. Jesus, you alone have the power to bestow my true name. I am asking to participate with you in the courageous work of dismantling my false self and recovering my true self, the true name you intended since before the creation of the world. God, I want to become the kind of person who can declare with confidence, I open my soul to you and you alone to receive my true name. And I ask you for the grace to participate with you in the life-transforming process of becoming my true name.

Session Four

Closing Prayer

Session Three

5.

65

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 65

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

DIGGING DEEPER

66

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 66

4/1/20 2:37 PM


“I AM”

“I CAN”

FEAR

“I CAN’T”

Validation

Session Four

• “Yes, my son, you do have what it takes. Yes, you are the real deal.” • “Yes, son, you bear my image. I see me in you.”

Session Three

As I unpacked further in the Becoming a King book, we are designed with an inherent need for validation and identity from a God eager and willing to bestow it. The masculine soul is asking two fundamental questions that God intends to answer with a resounding YES:

Session Two

SHAME

“I’M NOT”

VALIDATION

Session One

IDENTITY

Let’s unpack the concept of validation.

this question to your world, looking for an answer?

Session Five

Consider the question, “Do I have what it takes?” How and when have you brought

Session Six

67

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 67

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Where has fear compelled you to believe that the answer to that core question is, “No, you don’t have what it takes”?

In what ways have you organized your life around the core fear that you do not have what it takes?

In contrast, how has your masculine soul been positively validated? In what ways has God shown you that you do have what it takes?

68

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 68

4/1/20 2:37 PM


validation. Capture that experience in a few words below. What was that moment like

Session One

Call to mind a moment when you offered genuine strength from a place of secure for you as a man?

Session Two

Think of the questions, “Am I the real deal? Am I worthy of love and belonging?”

Session Three

Identity How or when have you brought these questions to your world looking for an answer?

Session Four

“No, you are not the real deal; you are not worthy of love and belonging”? Remember

Session Five

In what ways has shame compelled you to believe that the answer to that question is, that a nagging lack of self-worth almost always accompanies shame.

Session Six

69

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 69

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Call to mind a memory when you felt ashamed of being exposed as “less than” or “lacking.”

Now consider how God has revealed your worthiness of love and belonging. When have you had your question “Am I the real deal?” answered positively by God?

Call to mind a moment when you offered your strength from a place of pervasive self-­ worth and secure belonging. Capture that experience in some words below. What was it like for you as a man?

70

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 70

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

The False Self and the True Self Describe your true self—the good and true man you know you are meant to be but have yet to fully become. What is he like?

Session Two

film chronicles the story of a man becoming aware of his false self and, through encounter and process, becoming the true man he was born

Session Three

ASSIG NME NT: Watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. This brilliant

to be. Once you watch the film, come back to these questions:

What are some ways in which you act or feel in the same manner as he seems to

Session Five

2.

Session Four

1. Describe the Walter Mitty that you meet at the beginning of the film.

experience life?

Session Six

71

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 71

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

3. What is his impact on others?

4. What elements in his childhood seem to contribute to the formation of his false self?

5. In what ways and through what means does he transform from his false self to his true self?

6. What is his impact on people in his world when he chooses to operate in love, from his true self?

The chart on the right side is a loose collection of words associated with the true self or the false self. Different teachers have used different words, all of which touch on the same essence. While some words might not be familiar, take some time to study this list. Read through the words one by one and wonder how they might relate to the ways the false self and true self find expression in your current story.

72

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 72

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Bringing my question

Bringing my strength

Hiding to avoid fear and shame

Authentically risking being myself and being known

Love to get something

Love from overflow

Manipulates to control outcomes

Courage unhinged from outcomes

Fear of man

Courage in the face of fear

Change circumstances

Change me

Foundation is self

Foundation is God

Center of gravity is self

Center of gravity is God

Never enough

A peace that surpasses understanding

Lives outside to inside

Lives inside to outside

Unbridled strength

Strength under reign

Strength in service of self

Strength in service of God

Divergent in most of its ways

Convergent in most of its ways

Tends toward complexity

Matures toward simplicity

Idealized image of self

True self-awareness

Lives practical atheism in the self-life

Lives present-tense union with God

Programmed and habitual

Free to respond to God’s initiative

Lives from a gifting model to earn love

Lives with wisdom’s long view and a life rooted in God

Has a fixed mindset

Has a growth mindset

Concerned with externals

Oriented by motives of the heart

Lives reactively to circumstances

Lives out of deepening response to God and participates with him and his kingdom

Session Six

New man

Session Five

Old man

Session Four

True man

Session Three

Poser

Session Two

TRUE SELF

Session One

FALSE SELF

73

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 73

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

When are you most operating out of the false self?

What do you hide behind?

When are you most operating out of the true self?

What “works� well for you that is primarily motivated by avoiding fear? By avoiding shame?

74

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 74

4/1/20 2:37 PM


you feel strong, powerful, and confident in who you are and what you bring?

Session One

How have you been validated as a man? What things, people, or places have made

Session Two Session Six

In chapter three of Becoming a King, I shared the story of my intensity as a way of illustrating this critical concept: often both the true self and the false self express essential aspects of the image of God set within us. I explained that years of trying and failing to repent of my intensity helped me identify that this attribute of my personality is rooted in the unique Imago Dei, the image of God as it expresses itself in me. I cannot repent of who I truly am in Christ. But I can repent of the false motives that energize a distorted expression of who I am meant to be. And through this repentance I can free my true self to live out of union with God and not in the service of self but rather in the service of love.

Session Five

Awareness of both the false and true self within us Disentangling the false self from the true self Dismantling the false self Restoring the true self

Session Four

In order to transition from the false self to the true self, it is helpful to think in these four categories:

Session Three

How have you been invalidated or disqualified as a man?

75

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 75

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

When the false self is co-­opting the gift of my intensity, it leads to exhaustion, frustration, and self-­hatred. When my true self is offering intensity in union with God, the fruit is forward movement in noble kingdom assignments and heroic love in relationship. The challenge is learning how to honor this God-­given attribute while becoming more astute at recognizing when my false self is seizing control of its expression. How about you? Take some time to think about several stories or illustrations of how a unique part of you has been expressed by your true self. Where have you seen that aspect of your character operate from a place of union with God in love?

Now think about several stories or illustrations of how the false self has controlled that aspect of your character. Where has your gifting operated self-­sufficiently in an attempt to gain validation or make life work apart from union with God?

As we come to understand more and more the civil war between the true self and the false self, we begin to both appreciate and gain much insight from Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. I’ve taken Paul’s remarkable passage in Romans 7 and 8 and inserted the terms “false self” and “true self” to help us see this civil war more clearly. Set aside time now to read this passage aloud twice. After you have read it, use it as a guided prayer, asking the Spirit of God to speak to both the false self and the true self you find at work within you. 76

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 76

4/1/20 2:37 PM


(PARAPHRASE — THE MESSAGE)

Session One

Romans 7:14–25; 8:1–4

My FALSE SELF is full of itself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that my TRUE SELF decides one way, but then the FALSE SELF acts another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if my FALSE SELF that God’s command is necessary. I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of the FALSE SELF within me keeps sabotaging the best intentions of my TRUE SELF,

Session Two

can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious

I obviously need help! I realize that my FALSE SELF doesn’t have what it takes. My FALSE SELF can will it, but my FALSE SELF can’t do it. My TRUE SELF decides to do but then my FALSE SELF does it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and my FALSE SELF gets the better of me every time.

Session Three

good, but my FALSE SELF doesn’t really do it; my TRUE SELF decides not to do bad,

It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. It’s reactive and deeply habitual. The moment my TRUE SELF decides to do good, my FALSE SELF is there to trip me up. My truest self truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that the parts of me and just when my TRUE SELF least expects it, my FALSE SELF takes charge. I’ve tried everything in my own strength and will, and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

Session Four

that are still the FALSE SELF do not join in that delight. My FALSE SELF covertly rebels,

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions, this divided soul, where my truest self wants to serve God with do something totally different. With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. The soul is integrated and made true. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have

Session Five

all my heart and mind, but my TRUE SELF is pulled by the influence of FALSE SELF to

to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of death through the FALSE SELF. something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right

Session Six

God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as

once and for all. . . .

77

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 77

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Becoming Your True Name Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. –­Revelation 2:17 Let’s risk exploring your name in God’s kingdom. What makes you come alive? What stories? What adventures? What roles? What experiences have moved you most in your life? When have you felt most you?

In order to recover our true name, we must also dismantle the lies that have been spoken over us. Remember, we cannot live beyond our identity. In the long run, we will become who and what we have come to believe about ourselves. As we venture out to become our True Name, we must also become astute students of the false names and false identities we have lived under, identities like “I am an addict” or “It’s too late.” These simply are not true. What false names and false identities have you come to believe about yourself and now live under?

78

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 78

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Three

the world?

Session Two

What do you hope people would say of the man you are becoming and your impact in

Session One

I remember watching the film Dances with Wolves for the first time. It spoke to me deeper than words. I couldn’t have told you at the time, but God was validating a part of my true self that I had yet to recover. Over a decade later, I found myself on an archery hunt deep in the wilderness of Colorado, walking through an untouched high western meadow. My heart leapt as I realized I felt like I had walked into the landscape of that film. It was another moment when God was reminding me who he uniquely made me to be. God is always working to recover what has been lost. Over the past two decades, God has steadily engaged me in the process of recovering my true name. Speaking through historical figures, films, biblical stories, chance encounters with strangers, and landscapes that have resonated deep within my soul, he is steadily revealing the white stone with a new name written upon it: my soul’s picture, intended to be known between God and me alone.

Session Four Session Five Session Six

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. –Isaiah 62:1–2

79

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 79

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E

A S S I G N M E NT: Take time to gather representative images or words through which God has spoken to you regarding your true name. Either in

BECOMING A KING

physical form or digital, begin to create a portrait of your white stone. Begin with the characters who most deeply strike you in the movies you love. Perhaps it’s a picture of someone from a compelling historical narrative, a Bible verse, an awe-inspiring landscape, or words of affirmation shared with you by another. Beginning with the first part of my name spoken by God through a historical narrative, I created a specific journal dedicated to collecting these treasures over time. This is an ongoing process which can be contributed to in the years ahead. But for now, what stories, pictures, experiences, Scriptures, dreams, heroes, films, and words have been whispered to you by God in your inmost places? Take the time to establish the beginnings of recovering your new name in some particular place which you can return to over time.

Further Excavation (For a complete list of recommendations and links, go to BecomeGoodSoil.com/FurtherExcavation.)

Books: BrenĂŠ Brown, Daring Greatly Frederick Buechner, Son of Laughter John Eldredge, Waking the Dead Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

80

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 80

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Three Session Four Session Five

BecomeGoodSoil.com Podcasts: 003—Your Question or Your Strength? 012—Your New Name 016 - Dismantling the Fig Leaf (Episode 1 of 2) 017 - Dismantling the Fig Leaf (Episode 2 of 2) 041—Intensive Series (Episode 2 of 8)

Session Two

BecomeGoodSoil.com Blogs: “Cultivating a Love Language” (video) “The Gospel as Initiation” (video) “I Am His Favorite” “Impossible Possible” “What Is Your Epitaph?” “Who Are You Becoming?” “Wild, Unfettered, and Free”

Session One

Film/Video: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Wild at Heart BASIC— Session 5 WildAtHeartBASIC.com The Kid The Last Samurai Dances with Wolves Jerry McGuire Les Misérables Groundhog Day Patch Adams Gladiator

Session Six

81

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 81

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Session 4

BECOMING A GENERALIST

82

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 82

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One Session Five

. . . act like men . . . –St. Paul (1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV)

Session Four

In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful. – C. S. Lewis

Session Three

To do them justice, the people who crucified Jesus did not do so because he was a bore. Quite the contrary; he was too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have declawed the lion of Judah and made him a housecat for pale priests and pious old ladies. – Dorothy Sayers

Session Two

It’s the things we learn after we know it all that matter most. – Coach John Wooden

You can’t pound a nail over the Internet. – Matthew Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft Session Six

83

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 83

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Introduction Winston Churchill once said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” To become a generalist is to cultivate a broad agency over many real things in order to mature and strengthen the entire depth and breadth of the masculine soul. Masculinity thrives when we forsake playing it safe and instead choose to live on the frontier of our initiation. It is in becoming generalists that we men can identify dimensions of our foundation in need of strengthening and maturing. In time, this process results in becoming the kind of man who can handle himself in nearly any and every situation, whether fixing a broken toilet or partnering with God to mend a broken heart. It is the foundation of becoming a generalist upon which God can build the wholeheartedly unique man he intends for each of us to bring to the world. Far from a caricature of posing bravado, the generalist brings actual skill and harnessed strength to meet the world’s needs. Instead of corrupted power or learned helplessness, the generalist brings humility and strength where and when it is most needed. The generalist’s essence is captured by St. Paul in his letter to the church at Philippi when he discloses the secret he has learned over many years of initiation: “For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger” (Philippians 4:12, TPT). “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am” (Philippians 4:13, MSG). A specialist works on a part of a thing. Through hands-­on experience over time, a generalist comes to know and appreciate the whole of a thing. In all things, the man who passes through his unique initiation as a generalist is able to bring life rather than harm, agency rather than incompetency, confidence rather than intimidation. It is on this shared foundation that every man can develop the unique man he is intended to be. And together we can take one more step toward building the foundation every man needs to become a wholehearted king.

Watch Session Four Video: Becoming A Generalist

84

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 84

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

Two- Minute Pause God, I invite you into this space to participate in stillness with you. Here and now, I choose to recover my breath. I turn my attention and affection toward you, God, and what you have prepared for me in this time. I choose two minutes to breathe and center on you.

Session Three Session Four Session Five

God, I consecrate this journey to you. I bring every aspect of this experience under your care and into honest and transparent connection with you. I declare your rule and authority over my life and over every man participating in this adventure. I pray that you would make known your true heart. I choose to give you permission and access to my heart. I pray that you would raise up prayer warriors on my behalf, led by the Spirit of God, to agree with the full portion you have for me as a man in this. I choose to risk engaging with curiosity, an open heart, and an honest desire to become the man you meant when you meant me. I open my soul to you and ask that you break every limit I have placed on who you can be, what you can do, and how you can do it. I agree with who you are, what you are doing, and how you are doing it. I want more of me to be given more fully over to more of you. I choose to give you a chance to speak and move and breathe your breath into me through this experience. And I am asking that you would lead me as I consent to a process and choose to respond to your invitation to risk in courage, vulnerability, and love. I want my whole heart back. I invite you to anoint this time with your presence, your power, and your favor. And I ask that you reveal where and how you are leading me to become the kind of king to whom you can gladly entrust the care of your kingdom. Amen.

Session Two

Consecration Prayer

Session Six

85

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 85

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E

Big Ideas Becoming a generalist is the process of learning a little bit about a lot of things as

BECOMING A KING

a context for recovering and restoring the foundation God meant all men to share as a common, sacred trust as men.

Recovering the generalist is a personal journey that requires risking moving toward and through what makes us feel weak, uncomfortable, and exposed.

We move toward these areas in order to become all that God meant when he meant us: men who can bring a harnessed and effective strength to meet the needs of the people and communities around us. And it is in this process that we recover our core strength and satisfaction in the ways in which we as men were intended to bear the image of God.

86

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 86

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two

Session Three

Session Four Session Five

Session Six

4/1/20 2:37 PM

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 87

Session One

Notes

87


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Discussion Questions 1.

This video session and chapter five of Becoming a King begin with a story relayed by Benjamin Franklin of a Native American chief who responded after American colonists in the 1700s “generously” offered to educate several of their boys. What is your reaction to that story? What does it reveal about how the founders of our nation thought about “education”? In contrast, what did the Native Americans think was necessary to “educate” a young man? How does this story relate to your own?

2. Where do you find yourself feeling strong in the company of men? What about these men or these circumstances allows you to feel strong?

3. Where do you find yourself feeling uncomfortable or weak in the company of men? What about these men or these circumstances compels you to feel uncomfortable or weak?

88

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 88

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Call to mind an experience when you were in the presence of a man who demonstrated a fierce mastery over a situation or an ability to walk in deep maturity in a

Session One

4.

particular relational context. Perhaps it was watching a mechanic work on a car, a teacher presenting a compelling idea, a heroic figure in a film, or a craftsman who created with his own hands. Think of what you admired about the man in this partias you think of yourself in that same situation? If what he embodied was something you were actually meant to embody one day, how would you move toward engaging in the work it would take to demonstrate the capacity you see in that man?

Name one “next step” you could take as an opportunity to risk recovering your strength as a generalist.

Session Three

5.

Session Two

cular situation. Why did you admire it? What emotions does it bring up within you

Session Four

Closing Prayer

Session Six

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 89

Session Five

God, I want to recover everything you meant when you meant me as a man. I confess I gravitate toward places and roles where I feel strong and find myself avoiding places where I feel weak and uncomfortable. I open my heart as a man to you, God, to recover the parts of my masculine soul that have atrophied. I ask that you would shine your light on the parts of my soul that remain unfathered, uninitiated, unguided. I invite you to father me in the process of becoming a generalist. I reject every caricature of masculinity, and I invite you to expose the places and roles in which I have hidden as a man. I want to recover the foundation of true masculinity, so that from this base, in any and every situation, I can become the kind of person who can bring true masculine strength, masculine courage, and masculine love, as you intended since before the creation of the world. Paul invites us to “act like men.” Would you reveal to me what you meant by that and how it is to inform me in my path of being restored as a man? Holy Spirit, I ask for your counsel and your leadership to guide me into what is next for me on the frontier of becoming a generalist.

89

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

DIGGING DEEPER

90

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 90

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Finances and managing a budget Maintenance and repair of the stuff I own Spiritual leadership of my family Responsibility as the primary educator of my children

Session Two

• • • •

Session One

Make a list of everything you have outsourced—both intentionally and unintentionally. Here are a few examples of arenas men have confessed outsourcing rather than cultivating a sense of truly ruling and reigning.

Dig deep and list your unique version of how you have given over to “hired hands” the Session Three

opportunities to cultivate your masculine soul as a generalist.

Session Four

What parts of you as a man feel the most atrophied and in need of regeneration, nourishment, and growth? Session Five Session Six

91

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 91

4/1/20 2:37 PM


fix it or do it. What about you—­your hands, your strength, your fierce mastery over the things entrusted to your care?

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

How well are you handling your world? It doesn’t count if the answer is “call a guy” to

Consider the following categories and take an honest assessment of your level of fierce mastery over your kingdom: Finances Monthly budgeting and cashflow

Long-­term strategy and planning

Health and fitness

92

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 92

4/1/20 2:37 PM


unfamiliar)

Session Five

Your frontier (any specific area in your life that feels new, uncomfortable,

Session Four

Property and possessions

Session Three

Calendar

Session Two

Family

Session One

Work/what you do for income

Session Six

93

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 93

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

And more (ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your mind and heart the categories that deserve consideration)

In chapter five of Becoming a King, I share about one of my heroes, Walt Harrington. His classic, The Everlasting Stream, is to me one of the supreme books on masculinity. Walt was born the son of a working-­class milkman. He climbed the ranks of society, became an elite journalist for the Washington Post, and spent time with the world’s most powerful and influential people. Yet listen to Walt describe how he viewed his professional accomplishments from his father’s perspective, and what Walt himself longed for as he entered fatherhood: It took my father time to feel proud that I was a journalist. I mean, I didn’t even know how to replace my own car muffler. When I came to own a house, I wasted money on plumbers to fix leaky faucets and electricians to repair broken light switches. I hired a nursery to lay down the landscaping and a gardener to trim and tidy it all up twice a year. Even if he could have afforded it, my father would never have ceded so much mastery of his world over to hired hands. But I had done what young men in America are supposed to do. I had risen in society. I had eaten dinner with the President of the United States. Funny, but despite all my social ascents, my simple and deepest hope came to be that I could teach [my son] some of what my father had taught me about being a man.*

The phrase that catches my heart most deeply is this: “Even if he could have afforded it, my father would never have ceded so much mastery of his world over to hired hands.” Take an honest inventory of all the things in your domain you have ceded over to “hired hands.” Some areas may be necessary and wise to cede to hired hands for one reason or season, but very likely not all areas are, and not at all times. Remember, there is a deep distinction in the masculine soul between hiring out work based on wise discernment and hiring out work due * Walt Harrington, The Everlasting Stream (New York: Grove Press, 2002), 145-6.

94

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 94

4/1/20 2:37 PM


1–10 Rank

Session Two

Things in Your Domain That You Outsource

Session One

to a lack of competency, confidence, and courage it would require to engage. Here’s one way to approach this: next to each item in your domain that you outsource, give yourself a rank (1–10) for how well you feel you have cultivated a fierce mastery and agency. (A number 1 represents “I have no clue how to handle this,” while a 10 represents “I have complete mastery in this area.”)

Session Three Session Four

name of restoring the generalist he has set within you?

Session Five

Where might God be inviting you to take back some mastery in these areas, in the

Session Six

95

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 95

4/1/20 2:37 PM


of fear of failure or fear of exposure?

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

What are some frontiers your Father is leading you toward that you have avoided out

Where have you observed men who normally would be characterized as strong and sure-­footed in circumstances that exposed significant levels of discomfort in them?

In Becoming a King, I highlight Garrison Keillor’s personal inventory on useful things he can do as a man (like digging a hole, making a bed) and cannot do (like handling a boat without panicking passengers). Keillor confesses, “Maybe it’s an okay report card for a person, but I don’t know any persons. For a guy, it’s not good.” If you’re not familiar, take the time to read this reference in chapter five of Becoming a King. Now take a stab at your own list. Here. As a man. First, under Useful Things I Can Do, note where you are operating in true strength and fierce mastery. Next, note where you are struggling or simply lack initiation, fierce mastery, or even basic experience under Useful Things I Can’t Do.

96

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 96

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Useful Things I Can’t Do:

Session One

Useful Things I Can Do:

Session Two Session Three Session Four

Pause for sixty seconds. Let these two lists soak into your soul. What do these lists evoke in you?

Session Five Session Six

97

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 97

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

What does it point out that is cause for celebration?

What does it reveal about a new frontier that is uncomfortable, unfamiliar, or perhaps uncertain in its outcome?

98

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 98

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One Session Two

Like a transplanted tree with insufficient roots to serve as a solid foundation for the mass of the tree above ground, the Useful Things I Can’t Do list often reveals where we have more kingdom than we have the wholeheartedness to handle. Other times, the can’t do list reveals areas where we simply lack initiation. I want to invite you to, over time, bring both lists and what they evoke within you to your Father. Ask for his interpretation. Ask him for the next step. I made my first list over a decade ago, and this practice transformed my life and gave me concrete signposts of how God is recovering my masculine soul and leading me along the narrow road. The can’t do list is shrinking with every passing season. The can do list is growing longer. More importantly, something is healing inside me. Something is being recovered, being made stronger and truer. Being made ready for what is to come.

Session Three Session Four Session Five Session Six

99

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 99

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

LET’S KEEP DIGGING DEEPER.

100

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 100

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Three

Where do you feel most uncomfortable as a man or in the world of men?

Session Two

• Think of your domain (the range of your effective will, where what you want done is done). • Begin with your body and your mind and then move into considering your stuff (perhaps it’s your vehicle, pet, your residence). • From there, consider your relationships, spheres of influence, and geography.

Session One

Think of a time when you observed a man operating in fierce mastery in a realm beyond your experience or ability. Pay attention to what you feel as you remember. How might that memory inform you about your frontier along the path to recovering the generalist? This exercise is a helpful start:

Session Four

Where have you commodified things in your kingdom and outsourced them when you really do not have a hands-on, operational knowledge of how they work? Session Five Session Six

101

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 101

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

What would you love to know about? List five things you’d love to be able to do one day with a high degree of competency.

1. _____________________________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________ 4. _____________________________________________________________ 5. _____________________________________________________________ What surfaces as you think of moving toward them?

102

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 102

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Sit with these directions. Put yourself in the directions. What do you feel as a man? What is the message regarding what you are capable of and where you should turn

Session Two

I introduce two opposing visual images in chapter five of Becoming a King. Let’s dig deeper. First, I want to invite you to return to the image from the IKEA directions on page 67 of Becoming a King. I also invite you to take in the full vision of this image, which can be found at BecomeGoodSoil.com/IKEA.

Session One

Hello, Trouble

for help? Session Three Session Four Session Five

Once you have thoroughly saturated yourself in the first image, I invite you to take a big turn and saturate yourself in another image. This one is the Gerber’s video, “Hello, Trouble.” You can access the video here: BecomeGoodSoil.com/HelloTrouble.

Session Six

103

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 103

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Pause for a full sixty seconds and notice what this video evokes. Then write the first seven words that surface in your masculine soul in response to the video.

Contrast your internal response to the Gerber video to your response to the IKEA video. How does this inform you as a man?

Look at the seven words you wrote in response to the Gerber video. Apply those words to your life. Take an honest inventory. Where and how do you currently embody these attributes of masculinity?

104

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 104

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

Where do you feel uncertainty or lack?

Session Two

that it is you armed with a pocketknife in each scene. What rises up within you?

Session Three

Play the “Hello, Trouble� video again. This time put yourself into the video. Picture Describe how you feel.

Session Four Session Five Session Six

Holy Spirit, what are you saying to me? What is my response telling me about my need to recover the foundation of the generalist in me? What parts of my masculine soul have atrophied? What must be recovered and strengthened? What place in me needs to be initiated? What are three action steps I can take to risk taking you up on this invitation for initiation?

105

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 105

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Carrying a Knife In chapter five of Becoming a King, I took a risk in inviting every man to consider taking up the mantle of carrying a pocketknife. Go back and read this section again and consider what this means for you now. I believe the Father wants to bestow a pocketknife upon you as an act of restoring your masculine heart as a generalist. As an act of healing. An act of repentance. An act of love. The details are not as critical; it is the essence that matters most. Last night I found myself alongside a middle school boy who is facing some big questions in his soul. I orchestrated the opportunity to work side by side with him, wielding some power tools and constructing a few sections of a new cedar fence. I also had the privilege of presenting him with a particular pocketknife that was meaningful to him and celebrated his growth from boyhood to manhood. Ultimately, it was a blessing of his masculinity in a world that causes him to question if it matters or, even more, if it is needed. I had tears then and I have them now as I reflect on what it means to have masculinity bestowed from the heart of one man on the path of becoming to another young man right on my heels. I want to invite you to participate in two courageous acts, when it is time. The first is to participate with God in bestowing a new knife on you. Let it mark this mile in your consenting to the path and process of becoming a king. Receive the gift from him and ask him for his personal words for you. Second, I want to invite you to begin participating in the practice of bestowing a pocket knife on another man. The particularities of the knife are not as critical as the heart and intention behind this heroic act.

Find out more: BecomeGoodSoil.com/Knives

106

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 106

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

Further Excavation (For a complete list of recommendations and links, go to BecomeGoodSoil.com/FurtherExcavation.)

Session Five

BecomeGoodSoil.com Podcasts: 004—Hello, Trouble

Session Four

BecomeGoodSoil.com Blogs: “An Arsenal, a Library, and a Tool Collection” “Castration—A Case for Carrying a Knife” “A Drama of Strenuous Impotence” “How Roadkill Became My Love Language” “Muskrat” “Stranded with Flip Flops—A Case for a Generalist” “A Wallet and a Cell Phone”

Session Three

Film/Video: Alone in the Wilderness Castaway The Company Men Everlasting Stream documentary https://www.ket.org/everlastingstream/ Saving Private Ryan

Session Two

Books: Matthew Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft Walt Harrington, Acts of Creation Walt Harrington, The Everlasting Stream

Session Six

107

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 107

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Session 5

THE WAY OF BECOMING

108

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 108

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Five Session Six

There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul. –Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Session Four

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. – Proverbs 16:25, ESV

Session Three

Our soul is like an inner stream of water, which gives strength, direction, and harmony to every other area of our life. When that stream is as it should be, we are constantly refreshed and exuberant in all we do, because our soul itself is then profusely rooted in the vastness of God and his Kingdom, including nature; and all else within us is enlivened and directed by that stream. Therefore, we are in harmony with God, reality, and the rest of human nature and nature at large. – Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart

Session Two

For you to have a soul that is healed, that is healthy, that is redeemed by God, matters more than the outcome of any circumstance in your world or your life. Your eternal destiny rests on the well-being of your soul—and only God can heal the soul. –John Ortberg

Session One

What matters most, what marks your existence, the really deep reason why human life matters so much, is because of this . . .vulnerable, precious thing about you called your soul. You are not just a self; you are a soul. . . .The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. You are a soul made by God, made for God, and made to need God, made to run on God. Which means that you are not made to be self-sufficient. – Dallas Willard

109

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 109

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Introduction Sessions one through five form a foundation for us to explore more practical ways of becoming a king. You’ll want to thoroughly read chapters seven, eight, and nine of Becoming a King to get the most out of this session, as we will take very broad strokes and cover a lot of ground. The core idea is this: the why behind all our effort along the ancient path is that we each have a soul. God chose to breathe his very own breath into us to animate us as living souls. As Dallas Willard says, “You are a soul made by God, made for God, made to need God.” As soul-­full beings, we are made to thrive at all times in connection with the life of God and his kingdom. In this session we explore three fundamental categories that will help us connect effectively with God’s life and kingdom as whole persons—­and through connecting, to heal, grow, and mature as we travel the ancient path of becoming a king. In the Digging Deeper section, you’ll find three separate parts dedicated to these categories. Remember, go at a pace that allows you to mine the most treasure from each part as you walk this path toward becoming a king.

Watch Session Five Video: The Way of Becoming

110

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 110

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

Two- Minute Pause God, I invite you into this space to participate in stillness with you. Here and now, I choose to recover my breath. I turn my attention and affection toward you, God, and what you have prepared for me in this time. I choose two minutes to breathe and center on you.

Session Three Session Four Session Five

God, I consecrate this journey to you. I bring every aspect of this experience under your care and into honest and transparent connection with you. I declare your rule and authority over my life and over every man participating in this adventure. I pray that you would make known your true heart. I choose to give you permission and access to my heart. I pray that you would raise up prayer warriors on my behalf, led by the Spirit of God, to agree with the full portion you have for me as a man in this. I choose to risk engaging with curiosity, an open heart, and an honest desire to become the man you meant when you meant me. I open my soul to you and ask that you break every limit I have placed on who you can be, what you can do, and how you can do it. I agree with who you are, what you are doing, and how you are doing it. I want more of me to be given more fully over to more of you. I choose to give you a chance to speak and move and breathe your breath into me through this experience. And I am asking that you would lead me as I consent to a process and choose to respond to your invitation to risk in courage, vulnerability, and love. I want my whole heart back. I invite you to anoint this time with your presence, your power, and your favor. And I ask that you reveal where and how you are leading me to become the kind of king to whom you can gladly entrust the care of your kingdom. Amen.

Session Two

Consecration Prayer

Session Six

111

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 111

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Big Ideas A life-­giving habitat is critical for the soul to thrive, especially in seasons of vital growth.

­Human thriving directly correlates to the habits, or practices, we choose to cultivate.

We must cultivate relationships that support our becoming. Healthy, connecting, supportive relationships are non-­negotiable if we are to become good, trustworthy, and powerful kings.

Steadily arranging our days in a life with God, expressed in a cultivated habitat, with right habits and a healthy relational model, leads in time to a soul brimming with peace and vitality.

112

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 112

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two

Session Three

Session Four

Session Five

Session Six

4/1/20 2:37 PM

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 113

Session One

Notes

113


1.

Describe the current habitat in which you live your daily life.

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

Discussion Questions

2. Contrast this to the kind of habitat in which your masculine soul would most thrive.

3. Looking over the last week, what habits are most predictable on a regular basis in your life? Then consider which of these are strengthening your process of becoming wholehearted and which ones are not serving your commitment to growth and maturation.

114

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 114

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Draw a picture that represents your current relational model. Use your time, energy, and emotional resources as a way of measuring in whom you choose to invest your-

Session One

4.

self. Resist any value statements or temptations to edit. Simply let your investment dictate what you draw. In whom and what do you choose to invest your time, energy, and emotional resources? Session Two

P R E S E N T R E L AT I O N A L M O D E L

Session Three Session Four Session Five Session Six

115

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 115

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

5. Now imagine you traveled five years down the road and you have become the kind of person who invests their time, money, and emotional capacity in a way that is healthy and strong for your soul and in terms of stewardship and those people most centrally entrusted to your care. Draw a picture to represent this more wholehearted and mature relational model for your life. What do you observe in how these two pictures differ? What are some small action steps you can take toward the healthier model?

H E A LT H I E R R E L AT I O N A L M O D E L

(For an example, see page 145.) 116

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 116

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two Session Three

God, I know my soul was made to thrive in a habitat different from the one in which I find myself. I want to experience my soul becoming more and more healthy through arranging my days so that I am experiencing growing contentment, joy, and confidence with you. I confess that some things that matter much to me are at the mercy of things that matter far less. God, I consecrate my days and the arranging of them to you. I see that they are an expression of deep beliefs that must be excavated within me. I trust there is a path of wholehearted restoration that will allow me to confidently and courageously order my days and my relationships in a manner that brings life to you, to me, and to those entrusted to my care. I ask that you would shine your light regarding my habitat, my habits, and my current relational model. And that together with me, you would lead me on a path, by day and by decade, that leads me into deeper maturity and deeper joy and helps me recover a life that is truly life.

Session One

Closing Prayer

Session Four Session Five Session Six

117

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 117

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

DIGGING DEEPER

118

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 118

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her. – Proverbs 8:11, ESV

Session Three

It takes a lot of crap to make good soil. – Proverbs 14:4 (my paraphrase)

Session Two

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. – Psalm 16:11

Session One

Part One: Becoming Good Soil– Cultivating Habitat

Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. – Dallas Willard Session Four Session Five

Every living organism is designed to thrive in a particular habitat. Man wasn’t made for a cubicle. He wasn’t designed for the mall or to live life as a passenger. The restoration of the masculine soul necessitates restoring a habitat where we can recover our strength and live out the full expression of what we were meant to be as a man. A habitat where we can thrive. In our modern age, much of humankind lives in an environment that increases short-term productivity but often at great cost to the human soul. By recovering a habitat favorable to strengthening and maturing the heart of a man, our effort joins the Spirit’s action to produce supernatural results. As pictured in Jesus’ parable of the Generous Sower and the Good Soil, the fruit of joy and impact is multiplied thirty-, sixty-, even one-hundredfold when our effort to become good soil meets heaven’s power.

Session Six

119

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 119

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Describe your current atmosphere and habitat. How much of your life is lived indoors rather than in natural settings?

How much of your daily life is spent engaging with real things rather than artificial? Real lighting, real smells, real weather, real materials, rather than synthetic, artificial, or virtual.

In Becoming a King, I shared a few stories about archery hunting as a conduit of my initiation as a man and fathering as a son. Every September I make a sacred pilgrimage with bow and arrow into the wilderness of Colorado to chase big game. Each year the vulnerability of being on rough, remote terrain in unruly weather reminds me that most of my daily life is lived in a habitat that perpetuates the illusion that I am in control of most things. Think of the feelings evoked when you are immersed in the expanse of nature in all its wonder. Perhaps the experience of being in a small boat in the ocean or deep in a forest with the only supplies being what you can carry on your back.

120

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 120

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Where you are at the mercy of greater forces?

Session One

How often are you in environments where you are small relative to the landscape?

Session Two

experience in which you feel like there is someone you care about yet lack capacity to offer what is most deeply needed?

Session Four

Well done. You are well on your way. Now let’s dive even deeper and explore some of the core aspects of habitat that are essential to the process of becoming wholehearted.

Session Three

Now think of this experience in terms of the landscape of the soul. Can you name an

Character over Kingdom Session Five Session Six

We are hardwired to build. It is hard to find an adult man who has not shaped much of his life around building something— a bank account, a business, a mission, a reputation, a resumé. At its core, the desire to build reflects the image of a creative and powerful God. Yet there is an essential step of preparation before any great building project: the step of excavation. I hope you will risk considering that to become the kind of king who can be entrusted with God’s kingdom, we must consent to excavating before we can build. Most men have more kingdom than the foundation of wholeheartedness to support it. What if we were to first risk putting most of our energy into our becoming? What if the primary invitation of discipleship to Jesus is to wholehearted formation, trusting him to build our kingdom in his time and his way?

121

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 121

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

What does that thought stir in you?

Let’s look for ways your energy has been set on building some expression of your personal kingdom while neglecting to allow God to first build within you the character or wholeheartedness to handle it. Put words to this. Describe the particularities of this piece of your kingdom. Perhaps it was a business venture or a team or a relationship. Where does your kingdom extend beyond where you can rule it with wholeheartedness?

Think of a specific moment where it was revealed that you had found yourself with more kingdom than you would handle well. What did you feel like when you were exposed, either externally or simply in your own internal life?

122

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 122

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

How did you respond?

Session Two Session Three

What was the outcome?

Session Four

What if God is more interested in building you as a man than he is in you building your redirect your energy and orient toward excavating first?

Session Five

personal kingdom? By way of repentance and turning back to God, how could you

Session Six

123

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 123

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Notice the fatigue in your story. Where are you weary? How might it be revealing your commitment to build?

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

Remember, what a man builds, a man must sustain. What God builds, God will sustain.

In progressive order, make a list of the people and things in which you are currently investing time, money, and energy. Don’t edit or overthink it. Simply observe the actions of your last day, week, month, year. Don’t write what you should be doing, but rather the way you observe what you are doing.

Holy Spirit, we ask you to reveal to us what you are saying and how you are leading. Pause and sit with God and this list. For a full two minutes, let God speak to you about it. Father, I want to risk trusting that you will provide for me as I venture into the unknown of trusting the sacred and narrow path of first allowing you to build my character before I seek to build a kingdom. I want to set my heart and intention on your kingdom, not mine. I open the gates of my kingdom to your kingdom. I ask that you would reorient my soul and my vision to character over kingdom as I turn more and more to recovering the ancient path that leads to life. I confess that my heart is like a densely populated city where old things must be torn down if new things are to be built. I give you permission to excavate the places I have 124

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 124

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Six

* Yvon Chouinard, 180° South. DVD. Directed by Chris Malloy. (New York: Magnolia Pictures, 2010.) ** Matthew 7:13–14 MSG

Session Five

Jesus seems to be unapologetic on the matter of shortcuts. The Gospel writer Matthew records Jesus’ warning: “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.”** Yet if we are honest, it is amazing how committed we are to shortcuts. Think about your kingdom. Think about your body, your mind, and about the people and things entrusted to your care.

Session Four

Taking an [adventure] trip for six months, you get into the rhythm of it. It feels like you can just go on forever doing that. Climbing Everest is the ultimate and the opposite of that, because you have all these high-powered plastic surgeons and CEOs. They pay eighty thousand bucks and have Sherpas put all these ladders and eight thousand feet of fixed ropes. You get to camp, and you don’t even have to lay out your sleeping bag—it’s already laid out with a little chocolate mint on top. The whole purpose of climbing something like Everest is to effect some sort of spiritual and physical gain. But if you compromise the process, you are an a**hole when you start out and an a**hole when you get back.*

Session Three

In chapter seven of Becoming a King, I reflect on the story of Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard. In the documentary 180° South, Jeff Johnson invites his hero Chouinard and Doug Tompkins, founder of The North Face, to retrace the original steps of their epic 168-day journey in Patagonia. Here is Chouinard’s reflection, looking back decades later, as he compares the nature of their adventures with the current attempts rich men take to attain the summit of the highest mountain peak on the earth:

Session Two

No Shortcuts

Session One

chosen to build without holy and God-led restraint. I ask you to guide me in the soul-sizing of my kingdom. I give you permission to remove every branch on my tree that does not bear fruit. I give you permission to prune the branches that are fruitful so they might produce even more fruit over time. Reveal to me how to orient my energy, my time, and my resources according to my becoming.

125

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 125

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Where are you currently trying to take shortcuts?

Where is it working?

Where is it not working?

126

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 126

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

Where have you failed by taking shortcuts in the past?

Session Two

is working for you or is going to work for you?

Session Three

Where do you still believe you’re an exception or “this” is an exception, and a shortcut

Session Four

Who do you still believe is an exception and gets shortcuts that you don’t seem to get? Session Five Session Six

127

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 127

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

I remember the first time I formed this list. I came up with ten men I knew personally who, in my mind, surely had the benefit of some significant shortcut to the life they wanted. It was a powerful exercise of honest confession. Over the next decade, I had the experience of watching how life played out for each man. Without exception, I observed that what appeared to be shortcuts were simply points of initiation. Because these men were all committed to the restoration of their whole hearts, in time, each seeming shortcut proved paradoxically to be another doorway to the ancient path of excavation and the slow and steady process of apprenticeship. What would it look like to be all in? If you were to respond to God with a courageous “yes,” what are a few of the next steps? Sit with God for a few moments and together come up with three action steps as a form of courageously yielding the allure of shortcuts and instead consenting to the slow and steady process of becoming wholehearted. 1. _____________________________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________

Here’s the inconvenient truth: Convenience is rarely aligned with restoration. And to relinquish convenience is often to consent to becoming an apprentice in ways that result in fruit beyond measure. Let’s agree together to forsake shortcuts and risk the slow and steady process of recovering the ancient path.

Choosing the Lowest Seat at the Table Perhaps of all the counsel I’ve received along the ancient path, this piece has been the most frustrating and repellent to my peers. It is interesting how often men challenge the counsel to take the lowest seat at the table. Of course we do! We were made to lead. But the way of the kingdom is often hidden in paradox: the way down is the way up. The counsel to take the lowest seat at the table was so deeply disruptive to my young, eager, masculine heart that it took me years to consent and even more years to appreciate the value and benefit of its fruit.

128

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 128

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Remember, motive is the battleground in the human heart. Don’t look as much at

Session One

Where in your life have you taken a higher seat when a lower one was made available? titles or externals, look below the waterline.

Session Two Session Four

Where has unchecked growth occurred in your kingdom?

Session Three

Here’s another question to help get to the heart of the matter: Where has your kingdom become overextended? Like an oversized, transplanted tree that requires disproportionate staking to compensate for a deficient root system, our kingdom often extends beyond what we can rule with dignity and care. We drive vehicles we don’t know how to repair, work at jobs where we have over-leveraged power over people, and live in oversized homes funded by loans and dollars beyond what we can afford. Kingdoms grow quickly. It is the constant diligence and humility of pruning that sustains a healthy kingdom.

Session Five Session Six

Jesus makes clear that the path of life often requires that he cut off branches that bear no fruit and prune fruitful branches in order that they might bear even more fruit. So often we miss the invitation and end up becoming men with too much kingdom and too little character to sustain it in love. It is only by storm that the true condition of the roots are revealed and it is only in drought that we find the true quality and extent of the reservoirs within our souls.

129

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 129

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

What if God were inviting you to soul-size your kingdom?

Which branches, or dimensions, of your kingdom are not bearing fruit and exceed your ability to steward wholeheartedly?

Which branches need to be pruned in order that they would represent more accurately what is true about your capacity to rule and reign well in this season? Be as specific as you can in your considerations.

Jesus models the way of the kingdom when he serves with a kingly heart and leads with the heart of a servant. Time and time again he models that the way up is by moving down. The path to becoming a king is the path to an ever-­increasing lower seat. 130

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 130

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Put words to your reaction.

Session One

Notice your heart. Where do you go with this? Is this the good news you hoped for?

Session Two

Traveling at the Speed of Soul In his book Soul Keeping, John Ortberg relays an American devotional writer’s poignant story of traveling in Africa and engaging a group of carriers and guides.

Session Six

* John Ortberg, Soul Keeping (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014), 130.

Session Five

Once we have set our face like a flint toward cultivating a habitat conducive to becoming a king, we work through an array of micro-choices and micro-shifts that can lead us into more life and help us become the kind of men and the kind of kings we were born to be. All living things are dynamic. As one mentor said, “The heart beats, and it rests. It beats and it rests.” Think of the wildness of the surf breaking on a reef or the movement of water cascading over falls. We are alive and living. And in order for the masculine soul to flourish, we must live in alignment with rhythm and pace. Or else, like most men, we’ll become a statistic.

Session Four

Hoping to make her journey a swift one, she was pleased with the progress of the many miles they covered that first day. On the second day, though, all the carriers she had hired remained seated and refused to move. She was greatly frustrated and asked the leader of their hired hands why they would not continue the journey. He told her that on the first day they had traveled too far and too fast, and now they were waiting for their souls to catch up to their bodies. Cowman reflects, “This whirling rushing life which so many of us lived does for us what the first march did for those poor jungle tradesmen. The difference: they knew what they needed to restore life’s balance; too often we do not.”*

Session Three

Jesus, I’m asking you to show me places where I have taken a seat higher than what you have intended. What is your counsel for me in this place? What is your provision? How do you want to lead me here?

131

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 131

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

A healthy speed of soul is available. Life can slow down if we choose it and fight for it. We can remember our first love, recovering a soulful life that roots us in God and allows both our relationships and our true selves to come forth. A few degrees of adjustment on the rudder can drastically determine the destination over a long voyage. Dallas Willard suggests that most change happens very slowly. Though it’s not what we want to hear, it might just be what we need most. We were designed to live in union with God. A soul’s portion at a soul’s pace. It is why the psalmist says in Psalm 73, “You are my portion.” I confess, on many days I feel like my soul has navigated the equivalent of a Thanksgiving meal—­too much and too many—­and I’m left fatigued and vulnerable. So often it is “good things” both in me and in others that result in me taking on more than is good for the soul. What is the typical portion of your life? How does it align with the portion that would help your soul thrive?

What is the pace of your life currently? How does it align with the speed of soul?

132

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 132

4/1/20 2:37 PM


heart beats and it rests. Where is your rest? And your rhythm?

Session One

Here’s a simple test: Do you live with pauses between engagement and activity? The

Session Two Session Three

Friends, we live in a world that does not sleep. The technology and information age has virtually eliminated all natural limitations. “Always up and always on.” Those were the words of a dear friend struggling under the load. What can you do in your power to fiercely guard the necessary boundaries of pace

Session Four

and portion? What is God’s counsel to you in this place?

Session Five Session Six

These are vital questions to consider. Richard Swenson suggests that margin is the space that exists between our load and our limits. On the path of becoming, I want to suggest margin is where God does his most holy work in the heart of a man. And as one mentor says out of his own pain from time spent in a federal prison, “If we don’t make margin in our life, life will make margin for us.” A soul’s portion at a soul’s pace.

133

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 133

4/1/20 2:37 PM


between your load and your limits?

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

How would you take the reins back and participate with God to begin carving space

What are the primary categories that need to be addressed?

What pain surfaces as you think about the pace and portion of things?

134

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 134

4/1/20 2:37 PM


shine his light. What is within your power to move closer to health and well-being in

Session One

Make a list of categories in your life where you lack margin. One by one, invite God to each of these categories? And what might God want to reveal regarding the deeper issues that compelled the overload to begin with?

Session Two Session Three Session Four

Jesus, I invite you into every place of identified lack or pain and ask for your life and love to infuse me in this place. Holy Spirit, I am in need of your guidance. What do I need to let go of here? What do I need to boldly take up? How can I readjust toward a more true pace of soul? God, I’m asking that you would give me grace to live in the day and measure in the decade. To trust the process and orient out of direction, releasing my firm grip on demanding the destination.

Session Five Session Six

135

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 135

4/1/20 2:37 PM


You must arrange your days so that you are experiencing deep contentment, joy, and confidence in your everyday life with God. –­Dallas Willard

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

Part Two: Becoming Deep Roots—­C ultivating Habits

Nothing more is required of us than that which we can do in union with God. –­Cherie Snyder

What are you practicing? Our decades are formed by our days, and our days are forged by practices. The question is not if we are disciples (or apprentices), but rather, whose apprentice are we? Make no mistake, we have become and are becoming people formed and forged by daily practices. Now we will consider what we can do to arrange our days around practices that fuel our becoming. In the interest of simplifying categories, chapter eight of Becoming a King and session five of the video take us into practices of engagement, practices of abstinence, and personally unique practices that all foster our maturing into kingship. Take an inventory of the habits or regular activities that form the fabric of your days. Think of your relationship to technology and how and where you choose to engage. What are the most predominant and predictable habits of your life? This is a practice currently bringing me life:

136

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 136

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two

And this is why I no longer practice it:

Session One

This is a practice I used to do with regularity that brought me life but I no longer do:

Session Three Session Five

This is a practice I’ve wanted to try but have yet to engage:

Session Four

This is a practice I’ve tried before that others do but hasn’t worked for me:

Session Six

137

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 137

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

What is in the way of my engaging?

What could I do to consider taking a small, intentional step toward trying this practice this week?

Which current habits conflict with how I would arrange my life if my primary mission was to become who God meant me to be?

138

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 138

4/1/20 2:37 PM


my soul?

Session One

What habits do I practice on a regular basis that seem to have a negative impact on

Session Two Session Three

What habits do I practice on a regular basis that leave my soul with more strength and vitality?

Session Four Session Five Session Six

Let’s go deeper still on our journey, into the three primary categories of spiritual practices or habits that can, over time, give shape and integrity of direction to the life of a man who has set his heart on becoming a king. Let’s walk through the guided questions with each category.

139

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 139

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Practices of Engagement Practices of Engagement are those habits that we want to actively arrange for, participate in, and cultivate. Name three things you have practiced by means of engagement, whether now or in the past, that have produced good fruit in your walk with God.

1. _____________________________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________

What are three practices of engagement you are open to trying that are accessible to you in this season?

1. _____________________________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________

Name three practices in this category that you have observed other people engage in regularly but that have not worked for you.

1. _____________________________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________

140

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 140

4/1/20 2:37 PM


might provide soul strengthening?

Session One

What are practical action steps toward trying on two new engagement practices that

Session Two

practices?

Session Three

What is a realistic schedule or means by which you can commit to trying these

Session Four

How can you assess the fruit of these practices to know whether or not it is fruitful to continue or what adjustments would need to be made? Session Five Session Six

141

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 141

4/1/20 2:37 PM


play? How will you reach out to them regarding what you need in this practice of engagement?

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

Who specifically can you invite into this part of your becoming? What role can they

Practices of Abstinence Practices of abstinence are those habits that we want to actively avoid, decline, or refrain from, even if only for a designated time. By intentionally choosing to go without or to say “no” to, we are able to cultivate through the restraint a deeper “yes” which gives us what we most deeply need. Name three practices in this category that you have observed other people abstain from regularly but that have not worked for you.

1. _____________________________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________

Name three things you have abstained from, whether now or in the past, that weren’t producing good fruit in your walk with God.

1. _____________________________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________

142

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 142

4/1/20 2:37 PM


you in this season?

Session One

What are three practices of abstinence you are open to trying that are accessible to

1. _____________________________________________________________

3. _____________________________________________________________

Session Two

2. _____________________________________________________________

What are practical action steps to abstain from these activities? Session Three Session Four

What is a time frame or rhythm for which you can commit to abstain? Session Five Session Six

143

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 143

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

How can you assess these practices to know whether or not it is fruitful or what adjustments would need to be made?

Who specifically can you invite into this part of your becoming? What role can they play? How will you reach out to them regarding what you need in this practice of abstinence?

Practicing Your Weird Practicing Your Weird involves embracing the activities that cultivate who you uniquely are, who God made you to be. They serve as the means to develop a unique love language between you and God which might be difficult to explain to others. The goal is always to become ever more wholehearted and live ever more deeply into a with God life. Remember, it’s only weird if it doesn’t work. And as Jesus assures us, we’ll always know if something is life by testing the fruit. (Matthew 7:16)* * This might take some creative thinking, but over time, it will prove immensely helpful in each of our lives as kingdom apprentices. One friend loves to take his harmonica and sit on a park bench and play. Another friend feels God’s presence deeply when he is in the sun, so he regularly arranges the chance to bask in God’s rays with very, very few clothes on. Another friend keeps a guitar stashed in a janitorial closet at work, and when he gets overwhelmed with the demands, he hides out and plays long enough to remember who he is and who God wants to be in his life. The practices are endless. Search your heart and ask what bears the fruit you are after.

144

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 144

4/1/20 2:37 PM


yet you observe them to have been fruitful in strengthening your walk with God.

Session One

Name three things you have participated in that others may see as strange or weird,

1. _____________________________________________________________

3. _____________________________________________________________

Session Two

2. _____________________________________________________________

Name three practices in this category that you have observed other people enjoy that strengthening in their lives.

1. _____________________________________________________________

Session Three

seem weird to you and would not be life-giving to you, but you see them to be soul-

2. _____________________________________________________________

What are three ways to practice your weird that are accessible to you in this season?

Session Four

3. _____________________________________________________________

1. _____________________________________________________________

3. _____________________________________________________________

Session Five

2. _____________________________________________________________

What are practical action steps to courageously choose for these activities? Session Six

145

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 145

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

What is a time frame or rhythm for which you can commit to these?

How can you assess these practices to know whether they are fruitful or what adjustments would need to be made?

Who specifically can you invite into this part of your becoming? What role can they play? How will you reach out to them regarding what you need in these practices?

Jesus, I am asking that all my habits and my cultivating of practices would be brought under your care and into connection with you. I am asking you to shepherd my masculine heart deeper in daily practices that provide the nourishment that is truly satisfying. Show me what needs to be taken up and what needs to be let go of. Shine your light on who can help me in specific ways in all of this. I receive your all-­surpassing power and acknowledge that I cannot do this in my own strength. I receive your life, living in me, to empower me into the more. I choose to engage in these practices, to do what is in my power to access, a power that comes from you and you alone. 146

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 146

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two

Find like-hearted kings living in the same direction. Sign treaties. When they are at war, you are at war. – Dan Allender

Session One

Part Three: Becoming Like- Hearted— Cultivating a Relational Model

My first apprentices are my wife and my children. If they are not maturing through my care, what right have I earned for others to listen to my life? – Paul Ryan

Session Six

In this season we wrestle with cultivating our wholehearted yes to what matters most to God for our lives. Our aim is that the things that matter most are never at the mercy of things that matter least.

Session Five

I have given my yes to God and to who and what matters most in this season of my life. And it is from this confident basis that I can respond with humility and strength: No, I can’t lead that project, that mission. No, I won’t take that promotion, because it costs me too much of what matters most. No, I won’t rush. No, I won’t upgrade my house, my car. No, I won’t take on that debt. No, I won’t work late tonight. No, I will not pursue a kingdom beyond my capacity to lead it in love and wholehearted strength. No, I won’t let your fifteen years of bad choices be my crisis. No, I won’t work late in the night after the kids are in bed. I would love to be able to, but I can’t.

Session Four

If we want to be apprenticed in kingdom living, if we want to become who and what God meant when he meant us, we must find our “yes.” It is only in establishing a strong and confident yes to the people, things, and priorities in alignment with God’s intention and provision that we can then as an overflow engage our over-complicated lives with a confident “no”:

Session Three

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

147

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 147

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Here is a working diagram I’ve cultivated over the last two decades. It’s constantly evolving as my relational model matures and is uniquely expressed in different seasons. However, it is a snapshot into what I have found to be a model of time, energy, money, and emotional investment I find very helpful around which to order our days.*

This diagram helps me visualize all my relationships from the foundation up. The size of each area reflects the intentions and priorities of my heart. And the portion of the triangle remaining at the top is a healthy representation of the wonderful gift of limitations for how I must make critical choices regarding how to invest myself beyond these foundational relationships. * Please refer to chapter nine in Becoming a King for a more detailed, category-by-category consideration of this relational model diagram. These are not meant to be prescriptive or analytical as hard, fast metrics. Rather, they are meant to communicate an essence and a posture of soul toward relationships entrusted to our care.

148

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 148

4/1/20 2:37 PM


ordering our relationships?

Session One

What is your first reaction to the model I am suggesting as a starting point for

Session Two Session Three

Where do you feel affirmed in the quality and content of your current relationships?

Session Four

Where do you feel lack as to how you see your relational investment playing itself out in your life today? Session Five Session Six

149

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 149

4/1/20 2:37 PM


reaction to circumstances and requirements and how much is intentional because of who and what you have chosen to bring to your world, even where it has great costs and seems to be like swimming against a current?

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

Notice the depth, breadth, and quality of your relationships. How much of your life is a

Where are you being led to invest more of yourself in ways that are not being expressed in how you are living today?

Which relationships are you holding onto that had their season and need to be let go? What is causing you to continue to hold on?

150

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 150

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Three

Marriage is, of course, deep waters and is an entire journey in and of itself. As I observed in chapter nine of Becoming a King, it is the relationship that most specifically exposes the deepest condition of our souls because for those who are married, it is the one place we cannot fake it, at least for long. We must start with honesty. Let’s experiment with a bit of creative play. Suppose we are all part of a neighborhood. Each of our marriages is a house.

Session Two

Marriage

Session One

Hopefully through the work you’ve done earlier in this session and in Becoming a King, you’ve come to realize more deeply how essential soul care becomes in cultivating intimacy with God as the foundation from which we were meant to live into every other relationship in our life. Now, let’s take some time to walk more deeply into the soul-centered relational categories in this diagram.

Draw your house as it looks in this neighborhood. Not your actual house, but a house as a metaphor for how you are currently experiencing life in your marriage. Session Four Session Five Session Six

151

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 151

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

• Is your house uniform or disproportionate compared to other houses? • Is it big or small compared to other houses? • What materials is it made of? • How might it be adorned? (Notice any other specific features and attributes you included or intentionally found yourself not including.)

The possibilities are infinite. There is no right answer. The goal is simply to take a first pass at accessing your heart as it relates to your experience of your marriage right now. In time, I encourage you to invite your spouse to participate in the same exercise that you just completed. Set some time aside to listen to each other as you put words to describing your house and how it represents the current experience of your marriage. No human relationship has the power that marriage does to cultivate the process of your becoming a king. Let’s consider some questions that might help explore the state of the union. Would you say you’ve given your spouse an honest report card on how you are doing as a man?

Are you currently wearing a Superman cape, trying to provide for your spouse in more roles than are working or are helpful?

152

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 152

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

In what areas specifically do you find yourself wearing this cape?

Session Two

How’s that going? Session Three Session Five

Now consider what it would look like to treat your wife like that. What would change?

Session Four

As per Luke 6:31, how would you like to be treated in your marriage, honestly?

Session Six

153

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 153

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

As per Matthew 7:3–5, what specks in your wife’s eye consistently impede your relationship?

Which planks in your own eye are hindering your marriage relationship?

How regularly do you initiate asking for forgiveness in your marriage?

When do you feel further away (dis-­union) in your marriage?

154

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 154

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two

What are your dreams for your marriage?

Session One

When do you feel closer (union) in your marriage?

Session Three Session Five

How well do you assess you are loving your spouse?

Session Four

How loved and known do you feel by your spouse?

Session Six

155

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 155

4/1/20 2:37 PM


with how she is at her core?

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

How regularly and to what degree are you choosing to know your wife and be current

What are three practical steps you can take toward listening, expressing curiosity, and risking knowing and being known, loving and being open to receiving love? Write them here and consider a plan to implement these steps.

1. _____________________________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________

Who are your mentors in marriage?

156

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 156

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

What are your deepest questions regarding marriage?

Session Two

What is your plan to address these questions as a priority? Session Three Session Four

Here’s a challenge: Practice taking ten. Set aside ten minutes with know and be known. Each of you takes five uninterrupted minutes to share how you are doing. As one shares, the role of the other is simply to listen, acknowledge you have heard, and thank the other

Session Five

your spouse in the next twenty-four hours as an opportunity to

person for choosing to risk being known. Don’t react or respond with a solution, next steps, advice, or even observations. Simply love by listening. After ten minutes, conclude the conversation of each other’s life and experience, for the sake of love.

Session Six

and allow it to be a risk-taking exercise in coming to the center

157

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 157

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Jesus, I confess I need more and more of your life to fill my marriage. I ask your forgiveness for ways I have taken on more than my role, where I have looked toward my spouse to provide what only you can provide, and where I have tried and failed at being you in her life. I bring my marriage once again under your care and into connection with you. I fully consecrate my marriage and announce your authority and rule over our marriage. I ask that you shore up our borders and contend against every enemy that would seek to destroy our union from within and without. I’m asking for your courage, your wisdom, and your grace to engage, to take responsibility for where I have failed as a husband. I ask for your forgiveness. And I choose to celebrate the ways I have loved well from a true place, particularly in the unseen. I’m asking that you would cultivate our union. Guide us in risking to be known and loved and to know and love one another. Holy Spirit, reveal what is in my power to do to move toward engaging my wife in love. I agree with the full portion you have for us. Show us the path of life on this day and in this decade.

Parenting In parenting, quality time is simply not a substitute for quantity time, and quantity time is simply not a substitute for quality time. It is the brilliant interplay of both of these manners of engaging that provides a context in which God can do his formative work. What do you do with the reality that quantity of time cannot substitute for quality of time, and quality of time cannot substitute for quantity of time in parenting?

158

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 158

4/1/20 2:37 PM


that you are proud of?

Session One

If we offer the person we have become, who are you offering in your role as a parent

Session Two Session Three

Who are you offering in your role as a parent that you know needs to change?

Session Four

Look at your life through the eyes of your kids. Describe the faith, spirituality, masculinity, and value system they would observe. Session Five Session Six

159

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 159

4/1/20 2:37 PM


observe your life, what might they say?

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

If your children had to describe faith and a life lived with God based on how they

Take some time to read the description you’ve written. What do you think about what they observe?

What are you proud of that you want to continue?

160

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 160

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

What would you love to change in how you are living?

Session Two Session Four Session Five Session Six

God declares one of his promises and his fierce intention of restoration in Psalm 68:6 when he says he will set the lonely in families. Family is universal in the role it is intended to play as the first expression of Church in each of our lives. Yet it is unique in how it expresses itself. Some of us do not have biological children. Many of us find ourselves in blended families. Some are in a season of being entrusted with grandchildren or have taken the courageous role of a foster parent. Some folks live in multi-generational homes or have the privilege of considering the wider circles of aunts, uncles, and cousins as part of their family. Take some time to pray, asking God to shine his light into your unique story. He sets the lonely in families. For you, and through you. In the words of Paul, “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you will keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish . . .” (Philippians 1:6, MSG). Friends, this is deep waters, utterly unique and seated at the center of God’s heart for your story.

Session Three

God, I confess that parenting is a category into deep waters of the soul. I can call to mind places I have failed to bring the man you have made me to be into this category. I pause here and now and consecrate my unique and particular role as a parent to you. I ask for your forgiveness for ways I have failed or brought harm. Ways I have perhaps projected my pain or failed to model a life in your kingdom or failed to provide my kids with the genuine access they need to grow more and more united with you. I am asking for your leadership to fill my role as parent. I’m asking for you to cultivate more deeply a culture of forgiveness. God, I am asking that through your resurrection power, you would increase my capacity to be present to my children—in my time, my energy, and my care. I give you permission to use them to expose the unfinished places within me. I ask that in time and over time, you would bring more life, more restoration, and more health into these relationships. I pray that through my life in you, they would come to cultivate a deepening, intimate heart-knowledge of who you are and who they are in you.

161

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 161

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Like-­Hearted Kings In Becoming a King (page 171), I invite you to lean into Dan Allender’s counsel: “Find like-­hearted kings living in the same direction. Sign treaties. When they are at war, you are at war.” Who are the men in your world you consider peers committed to becoming kings?

What might you do next to align these relationships more deeply with God’s priorities for you in this season?

What and who do you need to let go of?

162

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 162

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

Where are you being invited to engage?

Session Two

Take some time to consider your impact on others. What do you need to address

Session Three

As I shared in Becoming a King, the most effective way to establish and mature these priceless expressions of brotherhood is to set your intention on becoming the kind of man with whom another like-hearted king would want to sign a treaty, a friend he’d choose to stand by as one of his few.

regarding your impact?

Session Four Session Five

What action steps do you need to engage to contend with these obstacles so you might grow as a wholehearted ally for a few others?

2. _____________________________________________________________

Session Six

1. _____________________________________________________________

3. _____________________________________________________________

163

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 163

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

What other relationships need to be considered?

Jesus, you provided the model for cultivating intimate relationships with a few like-­hearted kings. You became the kind of person with whom others would desire to cultivate intimate friendship. I ask you to be my guide, that you would fill me with an all-­surpassing power to know how to become that kind of person. Help me identify the men you would have me sign treaties with, sacrifice for, and make a priority in my prayers, my time, and my energy. I ask that you fiercely protect these relationships and guide me by my actions to set my heart and intentions on a path for these relationships to become deepening priorities in my life.

Mentors What are your questions, and who are you asking? Remember, the best apprenticeship is shaped by the questions.

164

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 164

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

How intentional is this? How much of a priority?

Session Two Session Three

What is a way you can come alongside each of these people specifically to serve them in the hopes of this proximity being a context for you also receiving from them?

Session Four

Pause for a moment and call to mind some people ahead of you in their initiation who could provide guidance, instruction, encouragement, and care in some specific places where you currently have need.

Session Five Session Six

165

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 165

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. The teacher needs the student as much as the student needs the teacher. One mentor suggested that the most effective way to be blessed and shaped through a mentor over time is to identify an older man you respect and choose to serve him. In that context, be praying that you can bring your questions and your life to him in ways that are mutually beneficial. God, this is a vulnerable category, as it can surface ache in my masculine soul that has yet to be met. I pause and acknowledge you are my true Father and the headwaters from which all true mentoring and apprenticeship flow. I choose to give my heart fully to you, and ask for your forgiveness for either attaching to other men for what I most need from you, or for avoiding older men for fear of what I will not receive or out of pain of past disappointments. I ask you to open the eyes of my heart to show me what portions of your fathering are intended to come through particular people in my story. Show me what I’ve failed to see of this work you have done in my life in the past. God, I invite the fullness of your apprenticeship and ask that you would show me ways you intend for it to come through various mentors in your kingdom.* Dallas Willard suggests that the first step toward the integration of our souls is to bring all the parts of our souls back under the care of and into connection with God, and to take our souls back from the people (unholy soul ties) and things (idols) that hold us captive. To what have you given away your soul that obstructs care from and connection with God?

* Check out Become Good Soil Podcast 054: Question, Response, Volume Two, for some more framework on mentoring, how to approach this category, avoid pitfalls and recover more of the narrow road that leads to life.

166

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 166

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two

Through your work, Jesus, accomplished on the cross and through the power of your resurrection, I break every unhealthy soul tie I have formed with anyone or anything. I declare your Word that says that the only bond to remain is the bond of love through Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:14). I break all other bonds through the power of your life. I bring every part of my soul back under your care. And I ask for every part of me to be connected with, rooted in, and reestablished into every part of you. I speak your interactive work within me. And I am asking that, by your Spirit, you reveal to me what is in the way.

Session One

Holy Spirit, I am asking you to reveal these things to me.

Arranging Our Days Session Three Session Four

Years ago, I listened to a conversation between Dallas Willard and several young men who, like me, were seeking to recover the narrow road. One man asked, “Dallas, how do you spend your quiet time in the morning?” Dallas, after a long, sincere pause— so quintessentially Dallas— slowly responded, “I believe God is rather unconcerned with your fifteen-minute quiet time. He is far more concerned with the other twenty-three hours and forty-five minutes of your day. Indeed, we must arrange our days so that we are experiencing deep contentment, joy, and confidence in our everyday life with God.” As it did with the other young men, his response stopped me in my tracks. God, through Dallas, was affirming that kingdom living does not draw definitive lines between the sacred and secular. Rather, the invitation is to consider our entire life, arranging our days around the goal of living ever deeper into God’s kingdom here and now. Evaluate this as a reality in your life. How much contentment, joy, and confidence are you experiencing in your everyday relationship with God?

Session Five Session Six

167

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 167

4/1/20 2:37 PM


are sabotaging these hopes?

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

The way of becoming is a lifestyle. How is your life currently “arranged” in ways that

If you’re honest, what priorities do you arrange your day around? (For example, fitness, financial gain, business or ministry success, needing people to like you.)

168

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 168

4/1/20 2:37 PM


that would orient you toward the destination you desire?

Session One

What are some new ways you would like to arrange your days, in small practical steps,

Session Two Session Three Session Four

Father, I bring all of my relationships and practices under your care and into connection with you. I confess I need your guidance, your strength, and your counsel to arrange my days more and more so that I am experiencing deepening contentment, confidence, and joy in my everyday life with you. I’m asking for you to speak into where and how I invest my strength in its every dimension and aspect so that my actions would steadily align more and more with the beliefs I long to build my life and legacy upon.

Session Five Session Six

169

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 169

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Further Excavation (For a complete list of recommendations and links, go to BecomeGoodSoil.com/FurtherExcavation.)

Habitat Books: Dan Allender, Sabbath Archibald Hart, Adrenaline and Stress Brennan Manning, All Is Grace Henry Nouwen, The Way of the Heart Richard Swenson, Margin Richard Swenson, The Overload Syndrome Film/Video: We Bought a Zoo Godspeed: The Pace of Being Known https://www.livegodspeed.org/watchgodspeed BecomeGoodSoil.com Blogs: “Chasing Wild—­Long Form” “Did Jesus Wear Flip Flops?” “Death by Perpetual Accessibility” “Hunting to Train” “Living on 15 Amps” “The Most Disappointing Person Who Ever Lived” “Off the Grid” “The Paradox of Choice and Why More Is Less” “Suffering” BecomeGoodSoil.com Podcasts: 002—Work. Life. Play 011—Live in the Day and Measure in the Decade 020—Did Jesus Wear Flip Flops?

170

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 170

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Marriage

Session Four

Books: Dan Allender, Intimate Allies Tim and Anne Evans, Together: Reclaiming Co-Leadership in Marriage Mike Mason, The Mystery of Marriage Parker Palmer, On the Brink of Everything

Session Three

BecomeGoodSoil.com Podcasts: 033—The Slow and Steady with Dallas Willard and Michael Cusick 034—Jonathan David Helser (Episode 1 of 3) 035—Jonathan David Helser (Episode 2 of 3) 036—Jonathan David Helser (Episode 3 of 3) 037—Contemplative Prayer (Episode 1 of 3) 038—Contemplative Prayer (Episode 2 of 3) 039—Contemplative Prayer (Episode 3 of 3)

Session Two

Books: Cade Courtley, Navy SEAL Survival Guide Richard Foster, Celebration of Disciplines Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines

Session One

Habits

BecomeGoodSoil.com Blogs: “Unity Trumps Disunity” Session Five Session Six

BecomeGoodSoil.com Podcasts: The Marriage Series 014—Getting Naked— Styles of Relating (Episode 1 of 2) 015—Getting Naked— Styles of Relating (Episode 2 of 2) 027—Venturing Toward the More 028—Plank and Speck (Episode 2 of 4) 029—Plank and Speck Wrap-up (Episode 3 of 4) 030—Coming to the Center (Episode 4 of 4)

171

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 171

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Parenting Books: Dan Allender, How Children Raise Parents Danny Silk, Loving Your Kids on Purpose Gary Unruh, Unleashing the Power of Parental Love Film/Video: Parenthood BecomeGoodSoil.com Blogs: “Anything, Anywhere—­The Four Primary Questions for Masculine Initiation” “Be There—­On Parenting the Heart” “Best Books for Boys” “A Celebration of Boyhood” “Impossible Possible” “Kingdom Carpool—­More Than a Minivan” “The Question Every Daughter Is Asking” “She Has My Delight” “Trampolines and Mortgages” “Tumbleweeds and Joy Bombs” BecomeGoodSoil.com Podcasts: 048—Initiating Five Sons, with Paul Ryan 049—Parenting and Styles of Relating

Relational Model Film/Video: This Is Us BecomeGoodSoil.com Blogs: “The Colonel” https://www.becomegoodsoil.com/death-­by-­perpetual-­accessibility/ “What Are Your Questions? Who Are You Asking?” https://www.becomegoodsoil.com/what-­are-­your-­questions-­who-­are-­you-­asking/ “Who Will Carry Your Casket?” https://www.becomegoodsoil.com/who-­will-­carry-­your-­casket/ 172

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 172

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One Session Two

BecomeGoodSoil.com Podcasts: 005—Risking Love: An Interview with Bart Hansen 006—Diving Deep: An Interview with Craig McConnell 008—A Conversation with My Aussie Hero, Dave Tolman 009—Nearing the End of My Beginning 031—100 Miles with Dave Eitemiller 032—One Giant Leap for Mankind - A Conversation with Brad Beck 050—Question Response, Volume 1

Session Three Session Four Session Five Session Six

173

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 173

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Session 6

BECOMING A KING

174

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 174

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One Session Five

Jesus was astonished when he heard this and said to those who were following him, “He has greater faith than anyone I’ve encountered in Israel!” – Matthew 8:10 TPT

Session Four

The world has yet to see what God will do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully consecrated to him. – Henry Varley

Session Three

It is not what a man does that is of final importance, but what he is in what he does. The atmosphere produced by a man, much more than his activities, has the lasting influence. – Oswald Chambers

Session Two

Consummation of our earthly discipleship is the reward of Heaven. – C. S. Lewis

Session Six

175

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 175

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Introduction Though every generation faces unprecedented challenges, every generation also shares unprecedented opportunity to recover the path to life. Jesus promises that our Good Father is winsomely at work. As we respond to his radical invitation to travel together deeper along the ancient path of becoming, we too can become the kind of kings who grow steadily in trust and confidence in the authority of Jesus. We can grow so trusting, in fact, that we can actually astonish the heart of God. There is a place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need. Vibrant life is available; yet, like many great treasures, it is found in the least likely of places. We arrive now at this central question: How do we become a king who is wholeheartedly consented to the authority, power, and partnership of the heart of God?

Watch Session Six Video: Becoming a King

176

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 176

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

Two- Minute Pause God, I invite you into this space to participate in stillness with you. Here and now, I choose to recover my breath. I turn my attention and affection toward you, God, and what you have prepared for me in this time. I choose two minutes to breathe and center on you.

Session Three Session Four Session Five

God, I consecrate this journey to you. I bring every aspect of this experience under your care and into honest and transparent connection with you. I declare your rule and authority over my life and over every man participating in this adventure. I pray that you would make known your true heart. I choose to give you permission and access to my heart. I pray that you would raise up prayer warriors on my behalf, led by the Spirit of God, to agree with the full portion you have for me as a man in this. I choose to risk engaging with curiosity, an open heart, and an honest desire to become the man you meant when you meant me. I open my soul to you and ask that you break every limit I have placed on who you can be, what you can do, and how you can do it. I agree with who you are, what you are doing, and how you are doing it. I want more of me to be given more fully over to more of you. I choose to give you a chance to speak and move and breathe your breath into me through this experience. And I am asking that you would lead me as I consent to a process and choose to respond to your invitation to risk in courage, vulnerability, and love. I want my whole heart back. I invite you to anoint this time with your presence, your power, and your favor. And I ask that you reveal where and how you are leading me to become the kind of king to whom you can gladly entrust the care of your kingdom. Amen.

Session Two

Consecration Prayer

Session Six

177

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 177

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Big Ideas God is always more at work than we are in our becoming.

We can become the kind of men and the kind of kings who, with trusting hearts, rely wholly on the power and authority of Jesus.

There is a path of increasing union with God that can astonish his heart and result in becoming a wholehearted king brimming with life from the inside out. Few find it; it has always been so. Yet generation after generation, it is these few who recover the gospel and cultivate the soil for the next generation to become all that God intended. It is in the heart of man that God first and foremost is able to bring to earth as it is in heaven. It is this act of becoming that is our most sacred trust.

The most important thing about a man is not what he does. It is who he becomes. Who you are choosing to become may very well be the most important choice you ever make.

178

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 178

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two

Session Three

Session Four

Session Five

Session Six

4/1/20 2:37 PM

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 179

Session One

Notes

179


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Discussion Questions 1.

Jesus says he does nothing apart from the Father. His strength comes from dependency. Where and how do you observe dependency operating in Jesus’ life?

2. In comparison, how much of your day-­to-­day life is lived in strength through dependency? If you were to describe your actual relationship to God, what words would you use to describe the quality, frequency, and level of relating? How much would you use the words authentic, vulnerable, and intimate in association with your life in God?

3. Think of a situation when you chose to act in a way that God had to show up or all would be lost. Describe your experience.

180

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 180

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Have you become the kind of person to whom God can gladly entrust more of his kingdom? Where are you confident in this? What frontier is God opening for you to

Session One

4.

heal, mature, or take risks?

Session Two

6.

What is a specific next step you are willing to risk taking to consent to the slow and

Session Four

Who would you love to be in a decade? Describe that man.

Session Three

5.

Session Five

steady process of becoming that man?

Session Six

181

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 181

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Closing Prayer Well done. It’s taken a lot of courage to get to this milestone on our treasure hunt together. For our Closing Prayer in this session, I invite you to join me and other risk-­taking, like-­hearted men who have united to receive more of the heart of God through the Become Good Soil Prayer. It will take some time, so I encourage you to settle in, move through it slowly, and allow your masculine soul to engage in it with curiosity and confidence. Father, I confess that what I want is for my heart to be made whole and my life to be integrated. I confess that I want the freedom and the restoration of my strength through the integration of the whole person. And I invite you to do it. I invite you to partner with me to become a man who astonishes you because we are united in love and I’ve learned to do nothing apart from you. Father, I agree with your relentless love, your relentless pursuit—­that you will stop at nothing to continue to open the doorway to invite me home, for me to give access to you to the whole man, to be made whole and holy. Father, I confess the resistant parts of me that have yet to yield to you, and I give you the shame and the fear and the disappointment and the hurt. I give you my belief in life being found in self-­determination and self-­reliance, and I say your love is greater still—­your love is stronger than death. I ask that you would shine your light, that you would expose every place in me that has yet to come home to you as my good Father. Jesus, Holy Spirit, Father, I receive you afresh today, and your inextinguishable life. I receive your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in the kingdom of heaven. I arise once again to trust you in your mighty strength, uniting my heart with your heart. Jesus, I ask that you would break every limit I’ve placed on who you can be, what you can do, and how you can do it. I ask for your forgiveness for those limits, and I say break them in your power and in your name. I say in that place that I am rooted and established in your love. It is infinite, ever-­present, and always flowing. Father, I name that you care about me, that I matter to you, that you are the one who sees me. I say it out loud: You are the One who sees me, and I have seen the One who sees me. I name you as the One Who Sees Me. I receive you afresh in this place. I ask that you would make me good soil. I say I want more. I ask that you would dismantle the self-­promotion, self-­protection, self-­reliance; that you would dismantle the self and restore the true man, making me whole and holy by your love. I give you permission to my body, my soul, and my spirit.

182

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 182

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One Session Two Session Three Session Four Session Five Session Six

I receive your inheritance. You have given me unlimited resources. That is my inheritance, and I claim it, I receive it. I ask that you would help me to access it more: your favor, your life— to accept it and receive it. Through your death, your resurrection, and your ascension, I choose union with you. Forgive me for trying to arrange so many things to feel good. You alone are contentment, and so I choose you to be my place of contentment. And I choose to receive that smile of the Holy Spirit that says you alone bring true joy. I receive you, Holy Spirit, afresh today— your breath. You are the wild one. You want to partner with me. You know what I need. You are my counselor, my comforter, my strength, and my guide. So I choose you, Holy Spirit. I ask that you would increase my awareness to sense your moving, your leadership. Show me how to move. Give me the shoes of the readiness of the gospel of peace so that I can move in step with you— your pace, your rhythm, your way. Holy Spirit, I believe that you usher in this mothering that I so deeply need, that you alone can nourish me to fullness— robust well-being. You alone, through mothering me, can make me feel safe and loved, make me feel ten feet tall and bursting with joy. I want that, Holy Spirit, so would you mother me in new ways? I confess you’re good at mothering. I want to know and believe that I am loved because I am yours. I am worthy of love and belonging. Father, I confess that I still resist you, hiding as an orphan and a slave. I want to come home to you. Today afresh, Father, I ask that I could come home to you— home to your love, home to your generosity, home to your abundance, home to your provision, home to your protection. Father, all that I am, in union with all that you are. I do it through the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus, I receive you as my brother, as my Savior, as the Doorway, the Pathway— your life spent so that I could have life. Through you, my old man is given to death, and death rises to new life. I rise with you, Jesus— your unstoppable life and strength and force. Jesus, you have my yes. Validate me. I receive my name from you, my place in the kingdom, my inheritance through you, Jesus. God, in that place I confess all the sophisticated ways I have created a life to protect me from engaging in true relationship, all the ways I’ve arranged to disengage from relationship— the ways that I move against people, the ways that I move away from people and move toward people, all searching for validation, searching for love. I ask that you would dismantle all of it in me, God, that you would restore my style of relating and restore my relating with you, that I would see you move and walk, that you would cultivate a love language with me more deeply than ever before, that I would find myself laughing because you know me! This is our moment, just us. I hold a part of your heart no one else does, God, and you hold a part of mine. Can we cultivate an acquaintance? I confess that I need to

183

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 183

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

live more deeply in a habitat that allows my soul to thrive. To cultivate that acquaintance, I know there’s unfinished business here, and so I give you the habitat of my life, and I ask that you would bring it into alignment with the habitat that’s right for my soul. Unforced rhythms of grace, learning to live freely and lightly, putting down everything that is heavy-­ laden, and everything that is ill-­f itting, that doesn’t fit me. And help me to be comfortable in my own skin. Help me to like me as you like me. Restore my soul. Integrate the whole man. God, I give you permission. I pray that you would cultivate the habits that are necessary so that I can be available to receive that which I can’t arrange for. What do I need to abstain from? And what do I need to engage in? Teach me; I’m your student. Let’s try it on, try it out—­let’s practice; let’s blunder around. Allow me not to go to shame or self-­reproach. I want to be a student, and I want to be a son. And so I name that over my life, God: student and son. As you restore my true self from the inside out, I consecrate my motives to you, I consecrate my beliefs to you, and I choose to adopt a worldview that is steeped in and seated on wisdom and not simply gifting or the spirit of the age. I choose to partner with Wisdom that you set as the Craftsman at your right hand, that is in the fabric of all of creation. You say that he who finds wisdom finds life, and I ask for wisdom, because I need life. God, I stand with you against my enemies; against every scheme that has been set against me as a man, against my masculinity, and against my masculine line. I say, “It stops with me.” In the authority of Jesus Christ, I say no. I take my stand with you, and I say, “It stops with me, in the authority of Jesus Christ.” And I ask for you to begin a new work in me, to establish a new legacy, a new generation; to restore what you originally intended since before creation. Show me the warfare set against me; and in your authority, I stand against it. I choose against it by your power and through your life. And, Jesus, in the spirit of the age, I confess how much I’ve agreed with a distracted life, with this “temporary atheism” where I so often find myself living apart from you. Lord, you never give any man too much to do. And so, I ask for your forgiveness for every place I find myself feeling overwhelmed and alone. I break every agreement I’ve made with drivenness and hurriedness and busyness, and I ask in its place that you would give me intimacy, that you would cultivate acquaintance. Give me intimacy with you. Father, I give you every way that I have elevated myself in a kingly realm, in a way that was beyond what you entrusted to my care. I ask for your forgiveness, and I give you access to sort it all out. Jesus, I ask that you would heal my heart in the traumatized places where I have been set as a king by uninitiated men, where I have been maimed and harmed and used and abused. I forgive them, for they know not what they do. I release them and bless them, and I say to have your way with them, God. I ask that you would heal my heart

184

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 184

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One Session Two Session Three Session Four Session Five Session Six

in those places and help restore the false conclusions I’ve come to about my life and calling because of the pain and the hurt and the violation. Father, I ask that you would dismantle every shortcut that I’ve willfully chosen. I pray that you would reveal again the shortcuts I’ve taken, that you would dismantle them; and I choose the long, holy, and narrow road you have for me that is truly life. I want to be your apprentice, God. You are accepting master students, and I say yes! I want to work with you; I want to watch how you do it. I’m signing up. Show me how to grow in fierce mastery over all of it, the fullness of my domain. I pray that you would right-size it; shrink it where it needs to shrink. And help me with my body, with my soul and spirit, with my imagination, with my mind. I give all of my kingdom to all of you. I bring it back under the rule and reign of Jesus— every piece of it. I ask for your blood to wash it and for your anointing to come. And I’m asking for your favor over my kingdom. I set it apart for your life. Father, I ask for forgiveness: I’ve played it safe in a lot of ways. I haven’t risked because I’ve been fearful. Help me exercise risking— risking love, risking courage, risking generosity. Meet me in this frontier. I want to trust you more. I believe that you want to increase the stakes, and this is my practice. I ask for your forgiveness for every way I’ve agreed with the spirit of false comparison with other men and had jealousy and envy and want of their lives. I confess that the only life worth living is my life in you. Father, forgive me for comparing part of my life with part of his life. I release him. I bless him. And I cut off every judgment, every value I have made, every way I’ve cursed inadvertently. I ask for your forgiveness, and I bring blessing in the place of cursing. I choose in the heavenlies with my will to cause good on behalf of those men. And I own my life, my story— you as Author, me as participant and partner and friend. Father, I invite you into all of my suffering. You’re the only person who can handle it. And you can handle it. So, I invite you into it. I ask that you would make something beautiful come out of it. I ask that you would show me what to do with it, that you would make it worth it, Jesus, that you would tell me that it matters to you. All of it. And that you’re not far off, that you’re moving toward me. Jesus, would you show me how to rest? And play? Would you show me how to receive love? There are places in me that just avoid it and fear it. Show me how to receive. Show me how to play. Show me how to become the kind of person of whom my kids (or future kids) would one day be able to say, “He was playful. He was so fun to be with.” Take off the burden. Lift the burden. Father, I give you all of my relationships: my marriage (or future marriage), my kids (or future kids), my friendships— I give them all to you. In the area of marriage, I give you

185

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 185

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

my dreams and my dilemmas. And I am asking that you would simply breathe life into the here and now, that you would show me what needs to be done, that you would help me come to the center, and that you would give me your heart for my wife. Father, at every one of those junctures where it’s going sideways, I pray that you would help me be mindful to simply turn again to you and say, “Give me your heart for her.” I pray that you would help me believe that you are my defender; I have no need to defend myself. I ask that you would heal my marriage, restore my marriage; and I pray that you would bring my wife onto the same parallel journey as a woman and as a bride. Only you can do that, and only you can orchestrate it. I give you my marriage, I trust you with the pain, and I ask for a miracle. Today. A miracle. I agree that she’s the one you chose for me, and you don’t make mistakes. So I break every agreement I’ve made around an alternative path, and I receive her again in love. I renew my heart for her because of you. Father, I give you my children. I give you what I’ve missed of their hearts. I give you the hours and the days I’ve missed; and I stay in your love, where you say, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” I’m banking on it, Jesus. And I believe that the only way to become the kind of parent I want to be is through parenting. So, I receive grace for myself as a parent. I pray that you would teach me how to be present; that you would work my schedule supernaturally, flowing out of my beliefs, to give my family more of my time—­and also out of my beliefs, more of my heart; that you would help me be present to the regular, day-­to-­ day moments when you are asking me to bring them into deeper realities and wonder of the kingdom of God; that I would model a larger Story, bigger than anything they find; that I would give them access to you, Father; that I would turn and that they would see my model of turning to you, the One with unlimited resources. I don’t have to have it figured out, God. I confess all the pressure I put on myself to have it figured out. And I pray, God, that you would help me bring them deeper into the kingdom of God, to know your heart. I confess that these are the hidden years. I give you permission to hide me in the ways you want to hide me. Only you can figure that out, and only you can resolve that. But I ask that you would clarify and consecrate my yes. Help me understand what it is that I am to say yes to and who it is that I am to say yes to. Help me to establish my yes and amen as it is in the kingdom of heaven, so that I can have confidence to say no to everything and everyone that’s a no from you. Help me discern; help me walk in that. Father, I pray for pure relationships. I ask, God, that you would give me one, that you would give me two, that you would help me see like-­hearted kings who want what I want and have to fight through the same stuff to get it. Help me fight for those. Show me where I need to sacrifice more. Pour your robust life into those relationships. Give us shared mission so that we can lock arms and move toward something larger, as a context to dive deeper into

186

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 186

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two Session Three Session Four Session Five

(This prayer, and more, are available at BecomeGoodSoil.com/Prayers.)

Session One

the restoration of our hearts together. Give me a few. I believe that it’s your idea, it’s your design, it’s your desire, and it’s my destiny. So, would you bring me those men? Father, bring me the peers, bring me the mentors, bring me the men; order my expression of the body of Christ, my community, my story, that I would own my life and I would cast off every other story. I release it. I own my life. Father, the love that you have for your Son, Jesus, is the same love that you give to me, the love that you offer me. I receive it today. I receive it with confidence. I receive it with joy, with expectation. I receive your love afresh today. And I put on the armor afresh today as your son, the armor of God: shoes of the gospel of peace, whereby I can move in step with your Spirit; a belt of truth, whereby I love the things you love and hate the things you hate; a breastplate of righteousness, whereby I choose what you choose and refuse what you refuse. I put on the helmet of salvation, whereby my hope is seated and established in the kingdom to come and the place that you have carved out for me. My hope is in the intervention of heaven today. I take up the sword of the Spirit, that you would arm me with the Word of God; and the shield of faith, whereby I am sure of what I hope for and certain of all that I do not see. I put it on. I am your son, and I say, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” I choose you today; I invite you into this decade. I invite you to shape it, to lead and guide it. Father me. Apprentice me in your kingdom. I am an unfinished man, but I choose today to give all of me to all of you. I accept your acceptance of me. I choose to live in the present moment. I ask for a wise and discerning heart. I unite my heart with your heart. I choose to listen to your voice. I receive your peace that passes understanding. I receive your courage; I receive your strength; I receive your joy. I love you. I trust you. I choose to become good soil. You have my yes.

Session Six

187

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 187

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

DIGGING DEEPER

188

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 188

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two Session Three

How would you evaluate the ways your strength is in conscious interactive submission

Session One

In chapter ten of Becoming a King and session six of our video journey, we explored the mystery hidden in the heart of the centurion we read about in Matthew 8 and Luke 7. The Greek word conveying Jesus’ response to this “man of great faith” is thaumazo, meaning “to marvel, have in admiration, to wonder.” This is the only instance recorded in Scripture that Jesus marveled at the particular faith of a man, and he is a Gentile, no less. What was it that caused Jesus to be amazed, astonished, to “marvel” at this man? What did Jesus see inside the soul of this man that evoked an unprecedented response from the King of kings? As we contemplate the substance of the centurion’s faith, what stands out is his recognition of and active reliance upon the reality of authority. This Roman soldier grasped what those in Israel who were “supposed to know all about God and how he works”* had missed: Jesus had supreme authority over all of reality, seen and unseen. This is an opportunity to reflect on the condition of our own soul. The Gentile captain had become the kind of man who understood and walked in accordance with the nature of authority. Pause with me and consider the power God has set deep within you.

to a greater authority?

Session Four Session Five

Which parts of your life and your masculine heart are yielded to God?

Session Six

* Luke 7:9-10 MSG

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 189

189

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Which parts have yet to be brought under his loving care and connection?

Think of a time where you had a strong intention toward a direction or a decision, but God was leading or urging you in a different direction. What was your process of discerning and walking through that experience?

How did God get your attention?

190

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 190

4/1/20 2:37 PM


how quickly and deeply we respond to God’s leading in our lives. How does this one

Session One

It’s been said by a wise man that one of the greatest indicators of spiritual maturity is story illuminate the general way in which you walk with God?

Session Two

reliance on moment-by-moment interaction with God.

Session Three

Describe your particular faith in God through the lens of deep dependency and

Session Four

How much have you risked being under this vast provision? Session Five Session Six

191

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 191

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Reflect on this question as it relates to the past day.

. . .the past week.

. . .the past year.

. . .the past decade.

If you had to assign a percentage, what would you say is not yet yielded to God?

192

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 192

4/1/20 2:37 PM


way?

Session One

What one area in your story has yet to be given fully over to God in this faith-infused

Session Two

Pause with me briefly to cultivate the practice of conversation with God. Father, what are you wanting to say to me in this place? Session Three Session Five

Holy Spirit, how are you wanting to guide me into deep wholeheartedness in this place?

Session Four

Jesus, what is your provision for me in this place?

Session Six

193

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 193

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Think of three men in your story who you see maturing in the direction of the centurion and an understanding of authority and interactive dependence on God. What is the fruit of this quality in their life? What circumstances did they prevail through that formed the context for their becoming this kind of man? What choices did they make in those circumstances that fueled their becoming?

1. _____________________________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________________________

Think about the kings in your life, the men who have some degree of leadership and authority in parts of your kingdom. Perhaps it is a supervisor or business owner in your work. Perhaps it is a coach, teacher, or administrator in your school or the institutions with which your children are involved. How do you see them leading as it relates to the centurion? Do they model strength through interactive dependency? Do they lead with curiosity about where they fit in a larger story and how God is maturing them in becoming the kind of king he intends?

194

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 194

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two

What is your heart toward them?

Session One

How often do you pray specifically for your like-hearted kings?

Session Three

What is your hope for them?

Session Four

How do you willfully submit to their leadership out of a deep belief of harnessed Session Five

strength?

Session Six

195

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 195

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

What do you do with the pain you may have experienced under their leadership?

What have you done to acknowledge the blessings, if any, that have come to your kingdom through their participation with love and life in their role as kings?

The life of a man fiercely committed to becoming a king is lived day by day but measured decade by decade. Let’s pull out of the moment and move up to thirty thousand feet to take a wider view of our story and our lives. When our children were young, one mentor often reminded me that the days are long, but the years are short. One day your children and/or the younger generation in whom you invest will be in their thirties, forties, and fifties.

196

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 196

4/1/20 2:37 PM


your students, those who will follow you along the ancient path, those who will stand

Session One

Think about those young apprentices, whoever they are in your life—your children, one day on your shoulders. Who do you hope they’ll become?

Session Two Session Three

What stories do you hope they will tell as they reflect on the version of you they experienced in earlier decades? Another way that helps my heart access this place is description of the person you would love for them to describe.

Session Four

to picture the grandchildren I hope to have under my care decades from now. Write a

Session Five Session Six

We are here. Today. In this place. Facing our particular frontier. Pause with me and ask God for more of a vision of where your life could be a decade from now. See yourself, the condition of your soul, the quality of your relationships.

197

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 197

4/1/20 2:37 PM


a decade. Take some time to describe that man in more detail.

BECOMING A KING

S TU DY G U I D E

Add to your description above as you further consider where you would love to be in

Pause with me; let’s inquire of the heart of God. What would it look like to respond to his invitation to give more parts of your masculine soul over in courage to more of God’s caring authority?

The treasure of the kingdom is a man fully yielded to Jesus’ authority. A man who has given full consent for his King to lead him. A man who has crucified self-­sufficiency in exchange for reliance upon Trinitarian fellowship, which empowers him to act in a manner that conforms to the will of God and makes way for the impossible to become possible. Not only in our life but permeating the full depth and breadth of the Kingdom entrusted to our care. 198

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 198

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One

Further Excavation (For a complete list of recommendations and links, go to BecomeGoodSoil.com/FurtherExcavation.)

Session Four Session Five

BecomeGoodSoil.com Podcasts: 022—What Astonishes the Heart of God? 026—I Love Beer More Than Jesus 045—Intensive Series (Episode 6 of 8) 047—Intensive Series (Episode 8 of 8)

Session Three

BecomeGoodSoil.com Blogs: “The Daybreak Prayer” “Exposure and Surrender” “Failing While Daring Greatly” “Good Friday” “Harnessed Strength” “I Love Beer More Than Jesus”

Session Two

Books: David Brooks, The Road to Character John Eldredge, All Things New John Eldredge, The Journey of Desire Jean Giono, The Man Who Planted Trees Francis Schaffer, No Little People (sermon titled “The Lord’s Work in the Lord’s Way”) Phil Vischer, Me, Myself, and Bob Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart

Session Six

199

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 199

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

MY INVITATION

200

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 200

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session One Session Two Session Three Session Four Session Five Session Six

Friends, well done! And, this was all prologue. We’ve come to a transition in our venture to becoming a king. Above all else, I offer the message of Becoming a King as an invitation. It is an invitation into a process of committing a decade to becoming the kind of man to whom God can gladly entrust the care of his kingdom. The greatest revolution in human history began through twelve men saying yes to a personal invitation from the King of kings to recover the ancient path. It’s not easy, it’s not cheap, and it’s not quick. The path is available to all, but few choose it; it has always been so. Yet those few, those happy few who say yes, will recover a life that is truly life. By day and by decade, they will recover life for themselves and those under their care. And the world will find itself in good hands as students become sons, sons become warriors, and warriors become good-hearted kings. The invitation is available to you. Nothing more is needed than a willingness to risk and a fierce intention to open your heart again and again to the care, confidence, and guidance of God. May we be among those happy few who give their deep and lasting yes. My hope is that this guided experience has served as a treasure map and the beginning of a journey along the ancient path of inner transformation. It is an invitation into a radical reconstruction of much of what we have come to believe about God, ourselves, and the meaning of life. And it is an invitation to a rare and remarkable fellowship of like-hearted kings. The few who choose this revolutionary path will encounter the Father and become sons who are confident and flourishing in the Father’s affection. They will become master apprentices in the way of the kingdom of God. Those who choose to respond to God’s pursuit and participate in the process will become wholehearted men. They will become mighty oaks teeming with strength and courage to bring more and more of God and his kingdom to a broken, hurting world. They will become the kind of kings to whom God can entrust his kingdom. They will encounter and unearth an abundance of treasure along the ancient path of becoming—and come to understand that the ultimate treasure is God himself. And now, this is my counsel to you, spoken out of a sincere heart as a fellow apprentice who has consented to the process and has sat at the feet of many elders of the ancient path for the better part of two decades:

201

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 201

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

Give a decade to this. The best things are cultivated over time. Mark it on your calendar. Live by the day and measure by the decade. If you consent to the process, a decade from now you will be teaching and offering to others from the very place of your deepest struggle today.

It is all rooted in sonship. As suggested in session two, I invite you to begin every day by taking your place as a son and receiving the Father-­heart of God. And even braver still, when you’re ready to begin venturing into restoring places in your soul that are in need of mothering, you can find even deeper waters at BecomeGoodSoil.com/mother. As Simon Tugwell has shared, “So long as we imagine it is we who have to look for God, we must often lose heart. But it is the other way about—­he is looking for us.” Friends, it is not up to you. The gospel begins with a loving God who is initiating. The great work of ours as men who are becoming kings is response and participation.

You cannot travel alone. In my experience over two decades, most men get taken out because they fail to cultivate a few intimate relationships with like-­hearted kings. First, if you don’t yet have them, pray that God would cultivate these relationships. Secondly, give yourself fully to becoming the kind of person with whom other men would desire to share true brotherhood. In time, you will find your few like-­hearted kings living in the same direction. Sign treaties; when they are at war, you are at war. It will only ever be a few. And cultivating this yes will help strengthen your resolve to say no to the many things that are good but simply not from God for you in this season.

202

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 202

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Slow and steady wins the race. This flies in the face of prevailing culture, yet it has always been

Session One

Trust the process. so. Set your heart on the direction and hold with open hands the destination; that will come in God’s time. As St. Francis suggests, start by doing what is necessary. From there you will find are able to do the impossible. Consent to a two-degree shift away from your programmed ways of making life work toward the ancient path of becoming a king. By doing what is in your power

Session Two

that by God’s grace you can do what is possible. And only then will you find in time that you

today, you will be strengthened and equipped for what is to come.

It’s more than a book, a video, or a study guide. It’s a way of life that leads us into ever-increasing maturity, wholeheartedness, and union with God. Facilitate a regular group or a weekend retreat.

Session Three

Gather some men and take a deeper pass through this message.

Offering what you are receiving is one of the greatest catalysts for masculine transformation. Choose courage and vulnerability. Let go of needing credit. Go out and change the world. Session Four Session Five Session Six

203

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 203

4/1/20 2:37 PM


S TU DY G U I D E BECOMING A KING

The Greatest revolution in humanity began with twelve men. You are among that great line of the heroic few. Who are the men God would have you invite deeper into the work in which you have engaged in this message? Pause, pray, and ask God. Who are they and what is the next step? Write their names here:

There is much more content in which to immerse yourself over time. • Dive into the resources at BecomeGoodSoil.com. Start at the beginning and work slowly through this content in all its forms over time. • Participate in a Wild at Heart BASIC or facilitate one in your area (WildAtHeartBASIC.com). • If you’re married, provide a way for your wife to attend or facilitate a Captivating CORE event (CaptivatingCORE.com). Above all else, give God your next decade. It’s worth it. You are worth it. Make your apprenticeship in becoming a king in God’s kingdom the central mission of your days and your decade. You are among the few. Since we are God’s kings, may we set our masculine hearts on becoming a king. I look forward very much to being with you at the campfires of the kingdom, celebrating our shared courage and the truest story of all—that in the end, love wins. For the Kingdom,

204

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 204

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Session Two Session Three

Morgan Snyder is a grateful husband of twenty years and a proud father of a wildly creative and witty daughter and a joyful and passionate son. He serves as a strategist, entrepreneur, teacher, writer, and speaker. His passion is to be shaped by, and shape, the men and women who are shaping the kingdom of God. In 2010, he established BecomeGoodSoil.com, a fellowship of leaders whose global reach offers guidance for the narrow road of becoming the kind of person to whom God can confidently entrust the care of his kingdom. Morgan serves on the executive leadership team at Wild at Heart and Ransomed Heart Ministries and has contended for the wholeheartedness of men and women alongside John and Stasi Eldredge for more than two decades. He has led sold-out Wild at Heart men’s events across the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia. Morgan goes off the grid every chance he gets, whether bowhunting in the Colorado wilderness or choosing the adventurous life with his greatest treasures: his wife, daughter, and son.

Session One

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Session Four Session Five Session Six

205

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 205

4/1/20 2:37 PM


Becoming a King SG_content.indd 206

4/1/20 2:37 PM


ABOUT BECOME GOOD SOIL If you’re a man or a woman who desires to love the men in your life, and you’re looking to venture deep on a quest and respond to an invitation into restoration and transformation, you’ve found a doorway to the path. Curated over two decades and recovered at the feet of more than seventy-five elders, the unique invitation Morgan Snyder offers is one into a journey of receiving sonship, choosing the narrow road, and becoming a king. Morgan, with a fellowship of like-hearted men, serves as a guide to a path and a process that will lead to the restoration of the hearts of men. The invitation is for many, but only a few will choose this way of life. It has always been so. And those who do will become, by day and by decade, the kind of man and the kind of king to whom God can gladly entrust the care of his kingdom. To the few, the brave, welcome.

Becoming a King SG_content.indd 207

4/1/20 2:37 PM


ALSO AVAILABLE FROM MORGAN SNYDER If you enjoyed this video Bible study, don’t miss the book that inspired it all! Your masculine soul can be restored and set free. God, your Father, knows who you are. Even more, he knows who you can become. Becoming a king is an invitation to a process of becoming the kind of man to whom God can entrust his kingdom. You can become the king you were meant to be if you choose to start today.

AVAIL AB LE NOW AT YOU R FAVORITE BOOKSTOR E

Becoming Becoming a a King King SG_content.indd Ad for SG.indd 1 208

4/1/20 12:37 2:37 PM 3/30/20 PM